Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve 2010: Blowing on Old Embers

The New Year's beans and greens are simmering on the stove. All the fixin's for cornbread are laid out. Snow is still banked up along the streets, but at least the sidewalks and avenues are passable. No matter, because I'm not getting out today.

It's New Year's Eve in New York City. Good-natured craziness is rampant, and I just don't feel the need to add to the chaos. After such a busy Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I'm quite content to stay inside today with a stack of movies and a good book or two.

Actually, I feel the need to do a little self-inventory-taking. Not resolutions, mind you, just a much needed passion-check. Of late, I've felt a little blah about almost everything. The exception to the blahness is my new GrandBoy, of course. But on the whole I seem to have lost a spark (or two) that drives me forward. I'm not expecting any major revelations or insights, but I do think I need to make an honest assessment of what I want to put my soul into.

So over this New Year's weekend, I plan to go it alone, testing myself on this or that, trying to stoke up some life-energy passion for something.

Hand me that poker and bellows, please.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Dixie

And from Atlanta, Georgia, there's peace on earth tonight.
Merry, Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ode to the Bubble Light

O, bubbly delight
Festooning the tree,
Your taper deserves laud and praise!
The orangy-red liquid
Is churning away,
A-lulling us into a haze.

No greater invention
Has e’er come our way.
You fizz up our frothy-less gloom.
No iPhone or iPod,
Or iAnything
Compares to your bubbly plume.

Let your light so shine,
The Good Book says;
To hide it can cause real trouble.
So when I shine
A light for me
I hope to Heaven it’ll bubble.

Pull down those tasteful
Little LEDs
Their wow-ness is, oh, so slight.
Shun the chic!
Embrace the glory
Of the wondrous Bubble Light!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas Card Reality

A great big bright old-fashioned Christmas bulb went off over my head as I pawed through available Christmas card options during lunch hour. That light soaked through my brain, and here's the wisdom it imparted:

Mary. Stop. You do not have to send everybody a Christmas card this year.

It took a few minutes for me to realize what was happening, standing amidst the glorious array of damn expensive cards.

Really, O Great Bulb? Are you telling me that I do not have to figure out the exact right card that expresses my spirit of the season and plunk down loads o' cash for, say, three or four boxes of cards and first class postage just because I've always done that?

I was experiencing Epiphany pre-Christmas. Right in the middle of the Hallmark store on 2nd Avenue in the most Christmasy city on the planet.

Could it be? Could I somehow cull my ancient list of names and addresses and limit myself to - oh, I don't know - 24?

I say 24 because there were a few boxes marked "Value" with 24 cards for $7.99. My mind was a-whirr. Hm. 24. I mentally flipped through my address book (yeah, I still have an actual address book, though I'm sure there's an app for that).

Hey! A goodly number of these friends follow my every movement on Facebook now. They've seen all my cute GrandBoy pictures. They know what I've been doing all year. Dare I drop at least some of them off my Christmas card list this year?

Yes, the light was beginning to sink in. Might there be others that could slide off the list, as well? People I see fairly often? People I haven't heard from in ten years? I just might pull this off!

Now, I know you're saying to yourself, "Why send any cards at all?" Well, two reasons. One, I like to send Christmas cards. And two, I like to get Christmas cards. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards. I love all the picture cards and the notes. I never throw a card away (yeah, I have a huge box filled with old cards, and, yes, I go through them every year).

So. I am now in possession of 24, count 'em - 24, value-boxed Christmas cards. I went kinda cutsie, since I'm a grandmother now, and grandmothers do that kind of thing. The other options were just boring holly and stuff. I will stop by the Grand Central Post Office on my way home and purchase 24 Christmas stamps, plus extra postage for the two that absolutely must fly off to the UK. I will pop in a Christmas movie tonight, address the cards with much love and affection, and get them in the mail by Monday.

To those of you not amongst the 24: Please know that I still love and cherish you as family and friends. It's merely an economic-stress issue, so don't take it personally. And if you drop me from your list this year, I, too, will survive. Though I really, really like getting your cards.

Thank you, O Great Bulb, for descending on me in the middle of the Hallmark store on Second Avenue in New York City, USA.  I think I can manage it from here.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Hang onto your bed curtains, and let the Scrooge-fest begin!

As our reality television world gets weirder by the minute, I'm shutting off the news and Biggest Loser to settle in with all things Christmas Carol-y. Last night I pulled out the first in my Scrooge collection, 1938's A Christmas Carol. Yes, it's black and white, and yes, the Tiny Tim is over-actingly sweet (as they always seem to be, eh?), but there's much to love about this version. Why, Ann Rutherford alone, as that minxy little Ghost of Christmas Past, is worth your while.

I have a great stack of Scrooge movies, starring the likes of Mr. Magoo, George C. Scott, Bill Murray, Alistair Sim, and Miss Piggy. I'm a stickler for all the famous lines: "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." Or "'If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."  And "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me." Sometimes the scriptwriters have played a little fast and loose with the quotes, but for the most part they pop up in every version.

Between now and December 25, I'll pace my viewings to make sure I see all of the renditions over the course of the holidays. And I'll watch any version (yes, even Ebbie with Susan Lucci) except for the ones with Patrick Stewart and Kelsey Grammar. Beyond that, I'm game for whatever wacky casting - live, cartoon, claymation - you throw my way.

I've asked this before, but I'll ask again: What's your favorite film/TV version of "A Christmas Carol"? Or are you just a big humbug who thinks Christmas is a poor excuse to pick a man's pocket every 25th of December? Hm?