Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas for me

First of all, Season's Greetings to all, regardless the specific holiday you celebrate. It matters not what day you celebrate or for what reasons, just celebrate! As has been the case for the last couple of years I have been too busy in my head to sit down and make up the usual tissue of lies and unverifiable "facts" which were the substance of my Christmas letters of years past. It's not that I don't enjoy doing it; it's just that it requires a trance like state that I rarely achieve since I left my last job. Boy, those were the days! I remember getting up at an uncivilized hour, driving 15 miles to the commuter rail and then riding the train into Boston to earn a good wage, mostly for putting up with a ridiculous amount of crap from people who were even more unhappy than I was. In the evening I would reverse the commute, come home, eat, complain, go to bed--rinse and repeat. Taking leave of that job, despite the loss of the income and benefits was one of the happier days of my life. I have been busy for the last three years with finding and working on my house. It is an ugly beast, still, but it's my own home--something I never thought I would have. I've not been as happy with life in general as I am at this moment. I spend my days ripping old work out, measuring for new work, cutting things to length, throwing them away and measuring carefully, this time and repeating the process until I get it right (or close enough!). On the days when my gimpy leg and aching left shoulder are being less quarrelsome than usual, I do things like hanging sheetrock, wrestling a pellet stove into position (eight times, two different stoves--first one didn't work properly) making dump runs and so many trips to the local Lowe's that most people who work there know me well enough to greet me--or run to hide when they see me coming!
I've met a lot of good people and some jerks. I am fairly well known as the "guy who takes all the pictures". The camera has been a great tool for breaking the ice with folks--most of them, anyway. I now do some photography for the Chamber of Commerce; I volunteer at the local non-profit entertainment venue, The Oswego Music Hall , photographing musicians and I do pro bono work for any other non-profits that I can help out. I intend to open my photography business in the coming spring and hope that the visibility I've gotten from doing the volunteer work will be my "advertising budget".
As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you're making other plans.". I'm not sure what might have been, but I'm grateful for what is. I was talking to a gentleman, not too long ago, who is a world traveller and has been to some very exotic locales. He and I often chat about geographical, scientific or philosophical esoterica--both of us read omnivourously--and have some fine conversations. When I told him that I had not had the pleasure of traveling as widely as he has he said, "That may be true, but you notice things. If you went down to Minetto (a village five miles to the south of Oswego) you would see something that other people, including the ones who live there, missed.". I think that's fairly accurate. I travel pretty small but I try to see pretty big.
When this time of the year rolls around I do miss my family. It's not that I'm lonely, I don't mind being by myself for a lot of most days--and, yes, I do enjoy the company of friends or friendly strangers--it's more about not seeing and spending time with all my wonderful siblings and their children and grandchildren. I am so happy to be around all the little ones (even though I'm a terrible curmudgeon) and see them and their parents having a good time. Of course being the, now, elderly uncle, I don't gotta worry about changing diapers, although soothing an unhappy baby is something I'm fairly good at doing. The outings and parties with a trainload of sibs, neices, nephews, in-laws, outlaws and scads of kidaloos are really what I enjoy most about going to visit family. I hope that, one day, when my home is habitable--for those with more conventional ideas and traditional notions of what constitutes "suitable for habitation"--that some of you will come to visit, during the summer months when we often have long and lovely days of sun, mild temperatures and friendly breezes off Lake Ontario--a mile or two to the north of my house.
Now then, to the subject of Christmas. This Christmas season has been a good one., thus far. I have gotten some lovely swag from a few friends and a very nice gift or two from some of y'all. The goodies are greatly appreciated, but the cards and letters about what your families have been doing for the last year are what I truly treasure. For those of you who may not have my current snail mail and e-mail information, I'll include it in the copy of this that is e-mailed.
Gosh, I guess it got to be long winded, meandering and full of the usual sort of non-sequitirs--in other words, Mission Accomplished!!
May you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and hopeful 2010. Merry ChrisKwanukahnalia!!
  • N.B.:
About the photos: Some of you will, no doubt, recognize the signatures/card motifs/photos; thereby knowing that your Christmas missives have been entered into the Frigidaire Photo Placement Contest. There are two rules, as per last year, for the contest.
Rule 1.) Cards will be advanced per a very complicated formula (including but not limited to such criteria as: child cuteness, family grooming AND--this is a big one--everyone looking at the camera at the same time! ) at the discretion of the sole judging authority (that would be me).
Rule B.) Inclusion of pictures of deceased American notables, printed in that delicious combination of black, green and now, colored inks on Crane's very best currency paper will, as always, exert some considerable influence on the judge. In the event of a tie, in terms of the more subjective criteria listed in Rule 1, likenesses of Ulyssess S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, James Madison and Salmon P. Chase will weigh, in inverse order, heavily on the judging authority.
  • N.B.P.S., too, also:
The doggy card is from my pal, Buddy, the around the corner Dachshund/God knows what else mix who spent his summer holiday at my home (he loves a place full of nooks and crannies to explore) and his mom, the nice lady who needed cataract surgery, thus necessitating Buddy's stay during her convalescence.
  • N.B. , Oh, yeah, one more thing:
Those yellow and shiny refrigerator magnets are my nifty german precision levels. They tell me, among other things, how far off plumb and level my finish work will be!
Many of you already go to "The Coyote Chronicles" . Those of you who don't had better do so. The subject of today's post is easily the best Christmas song I've heard in years! Happy Holidays, Mack!


rockync said...

A merry Christmas to you, DC! Sounds like you'll be having a busy 2010!

democommie said...


Thanks, and the same to you. Yeah, 2010 will be a busy one, I expect.

Dave von Ebers said...

Demo, my brother! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you! Hope I get to see you again in the New Year … It’s hard to believe it’s been a couple of years since we had burgers and Guinnesses (Guinni?). We’ve got to do that again.

democommie said...

Brother von Ebers:

You are correct; it has been far too long since we bent an elbow in tandem. Unforunately, at the rate I am going it will be this time next year before I have slack in my schedule. Then, if I have cash in hand I think I will be doing a ChiTown, Big O, Music City, Clarksville, Mizzippee, Tampa, Fl., Old Saybrook, CT, Beantown trip. I'll let you know when I know myownself.

Meantime, hug the chillun, kiss the wife and be of good cheer!

Dave von Ebers said...


KayInMaine said...

That was the best Christmas Letter I've ever read! Thanks for sharing Demo! Loved it. :-)

democommie said...

Hi, KayinMaine:

Thanks, I hope you had a happy holiday.

Nomi said...

Wishing you health and joy and many good things and with gratitude for your writing and wit...


Anne Johnson said...

Enjoy your New Year too ... if it's frigid in New Jersey, I can only imagine how cold it is where you are.

democommie said...

Hi, Anne:

Thanks! At the moment it's about 15 degrees headed down to 5. Happy New Year to you and yours, including the fairies!

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...


Keep the Rist in Christmas, dude. Or the ristma.
Six degrees here, veddy windy. I am noting just where to add the insulation, you betcha.
Out with the aughts! In with the teens!

mutzali said...

Happy holidays, demo! Out here in California it's down in the mid-50's, and folks are whining about the cold...

democommie said...

Mr. the Rev. Jerry Gloryhole, Sir:

It's the Word of GOD that will save our worthless souls from the frozen hell of a northeast winter--the Word of GOD.

I invite all of the Jehovites, 7th come 11th Adventists and SLC Morons to leave as many pamphlets and such as they like. I wad them up and use them for cranny stuffers. I find that paperback KJV's (Large Print Edition) will burn about the same amount of time as them fake logs that they sell at the superette


Happy Holidays! It was actually about 50 degrees here, one day last week. We knew of course that no good would come of it. We are much more comfortable when being punished in the manner to which we are accustomed.

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...

M. le Democommie;

Splendid thought. What if we built a home of the KJV, like thick adobe walls only full of sacking and slaying and geneology, and a whiff of animal sacrifice.
For the Lord your God loves nothing more than animal flesh on a pyre, thick black smoke drifting Heavenward.
Thus sayeth the Lord.

Anyway, the Sallie's and St Vinnies always have some, maybe the Church of Universal Love 'n' Truth can have a clunker's trade-in.

democommie said...

Mr. the Rev. Jerry Gloryhole:

I love animal sacrifice too, but I like a light "smoke" and, if possible a nice chipotle/cumin rub.

SeattleDan said...

Happy New Year, Demo and all your fine commenters!

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...


Beef stew tonight, some roasted root veges, and a lovely Italian red.
Have yourself a merry little New Year, Red Demo; you and all your acolytes.

Dave von Ebers said...

Happy New Year, all.

As posted on my FaceBook page (because it’s, like, 2009 and everything like that), we had bacon cheeseburgers for dinner tonight. And now I am full.

Good thing I put on my eatin’ pants.

Night, everybody!

democommie said...

Happy New Year to all:

Seattle Dan:

Thus far, 2010 has not been a dissapointment.

Dave von Ebers:

ALL of MY pants are "eatin' pants" and I have the figure to prove it!

The Rev. Jerry Gloryhole:

That red had better be "Blood-O-The Lamb" CabMerlot.

Dave von Ebers said...

Demo: It’s funny how all my pants keep shrinking in the waist. How does that happen?

mutzali said...

I always make cioppino for New Year's Eve, since the Dungeness season is open. So today is leftovers. Mmmmmmmmm.

democommie said...


Ah, Cioppino! I was just talking to a chef friend on New Year's Eve about Bouillabaisse, the Marsellaisen version of a fisherman's stew. Sounds Delish!

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...


Well, wise guy, if the socialist government has their way and takes our guns from us, we won't be able to crab hunt anymore.

Oops, wrong thread...

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Laci Loves you! I hope you had a good one (pagan festival to drive off the cold and the dark).

That is the word of Dog!

Dave von Ebers said...

C’mon Demo … Pat Robertson’s gone batshit crazy (again), blaming the Haiti earthquake on the Haitians. We need you! America needs you!

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...


Seconded, Dave!

Hey, we here in MA are about to elect a former male nude model to the Senate! He's from my town, we served on a couple of town committees together.
He's vain, and a know-nothing, with ambition to go all the way.
What's not to like?

I'm thinking of becoming a communist. Advice?

Dave von Ebers said...

Rev. JG: I’d start by watching that episode of Seinfeld: She named names!

democommie said...

Dear Consigliere von Ebers and the Rev. Jerry Gloryhole:

I have been bizzzzzzzzzzzzzzy for the last fortnight or fiftnight, so I have not been able to take my spleen out for a walk. I am hopeful that the next week will see a return to my usual stupefied and restful langour.

Serr8d said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
democommie said...


You and your pals really shouldn't waste your time here. You have nothing of value to add to any conversation that is going on at this blog.

You're a pathetic pos and I really don't give a rat's ass what you think. Keep commenting, keep seeing your comments disappear.

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...


So in a short while we'll know whether or not I'm represented in the Senate by a former male nude model. Some things you can't make up.
Even better: we live in the same town. Served on a committee together. Mutual acquaintences.
I could have a Senator who doesn't. like. me.

Been sharing my tales but the tide seems high. Of course, that's according to the Media; could they be setting up high expectations in order to play the 'stolen election' card? Will the Dems actually steal it? Will a tie fall to the MA Supremes, or the DC Supremes, or the Diana Ross Supremes?
& the weather has been 32 degrees and sleeting.
Good times.

Thank You, Lord.

democommie said...

the Rev. Jerry Gloryhole:

You have my deepest condolences. Martha Coakley is scum in my book, but Mr. Brown seems like a worse variety.

the Rev Jerry Gloryhole said...

I now have a Senator who once had 3,000 posters of himself posing naked for Cosmo printed up.
Not saying he's vain.
And I wouldn't suggest that just because he didn't suffer opinions not his own as a selectman that he won't be an even-minded senator.
And I'd never let on that he also drives a Volvo wagon. That would be wrong. It might suggest he takes liberties with the truth when it suits him.
And, of course, waterboarding is not torture. But as a lawyer he'd know that better than I.

How's Canada this time of year?

democommie said...

the Rev. Jerry Gloryhole:

Now is the time to start compiling his stats for the next election cycle. That he got elected, running against Martha Coakley does not surprise me terribly much. Marty has been, and continues to be, a hack. Maybe next time the dems will take the election campaign seriously. Meantime, how many of those posters can I get?

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Completely off-topic, and for all I know you might not even still be alive, but whenever I see anything about the menace of small fur-covered creatures, I think about you. Hamsters -- they're scarier than you think!