Wednesday, December 29, 2010

injaynesworld "The Tree Stays Up..."

… well past what would be considered normal or even healthy in most other households.  

When I was a child, we left the tree up until January 6th, which is the Epiphany in Catholicism celebrating Jesus as the human Son of God.   It also follows the twelfth day of Christmas (January 5th) when your true love gives you “12 drummers drumming” and all the other stuff promised in the song and who wants to miss out on that. 

On January 6th, my mother and I would exchange one last, small gift and then that was the end of the Christmas season and the tree would come down in what anyone would agree was a reasonable time frame. 

But then we didn’t have eight-foot trees with the number of lights well past all fire safety warnings and hundreds of ornaments collected over my rather substantial lifetime as I do now.   Add to that the fact that the tree costs an entire week’s budget of groceries and gasoline and you can bet I want my money’s worth, so my trees have sometimes been known to shine brightly damn near till Valentine’s Day.

Lest you worry about the fire hazards associated with such a lengthy stay, let me just assure you that due to the high cost of heating and the subsequent temperatures approaching meat locker status in my home, my tree stays fresh as the day it first arrived.  Another thing that makes it so hard to part with.   It feels like pulling the plug on a friend who still looks great in a coma.

This year will be different, however.    My tree is only three feet high and the task of taking it down not nearly so daunting.  So even though it shows no signs of drooping, come January 6th I’ll have one last eggnog and brandy, raise my glass to season well celebrated and begin the detrim with only a trace of sadness.   Once naked, I’ll put the tiny pine outside my front door with plenty of water and enjoy it there until it chooses the date of its own demise.   Then, as I would want done with me, I’ll toss it onto the farm burn pile and watch its ashes rise to meet the sky.  

It seems like a fitting good-bye.

How do you end the Christmas season?   

Friday, December 24, 2010

injaynesworld we ponder "The Perfect Gift..."

I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty amazing gifts in my life.  Things I really wanted, but had no real expectation of actually getting.  Surprises, that blew my circuits with the thought, care and love that I knew went into picking them out for me.   

On the giving end, the fun of seeing a friend’s face light up with genuine excitement at a gift that I’ve chosen especially for them brings a pleasure and satisfaction that’s hard to match.

News reports indicate the malls are packed with last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers, though why people wait so late to purchase their loved ones gifts is a mystery to me.  If you don’t know what you’re going to get someone before now, how much thought could really be going into the gift?  

Every year we all end up with at least a couple of those, “What the hell were they thinking?” presents.   May I just say, unless we’re closely related, please don’t give me underwear.    And socks with cartoon characters on them?    Really?    The dementia is that obvious, is it?   

We’ve all heard it said that “It’s the thought that counts.”   For me the perfect gift is one that says, “I know who you are.”   No one wants to feel like they got your Aunt Roberta’s gift by mistake.   Or something so generic, there’s not even a tag on it because it was recycled from your office Christmas party’s “Secret Santa” pile.

Honestly, it’s not necessary to come up with an “obligatory gift.”   I’m not a child who will feel slighted.   For me, it really is the thought that counts…

Of course, if you do want to get me a little something and you’re still stumped, you can never go wrong with cashmere.  

Meanwhile, here’s wishing a Christmas for you as full of fun as these joyful goats seem to be having.

And may all your Christmas wishes come true...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

A new i-Pad app for the Guinness Book of World Records…

And just in time to honor 74-year old Canadian, Jean-Guy Laquerre, for his collection of Santa Claus memorabilia, making him a jolly fellow indeed this Christmas.  At 25,189 items, his is the largest such collection in the world.

Laquerre, who has been collecting Santa items since 1988, displays his collection every year from December 15th to January 15th at his Montreal home.   Don’t think of just dropping by though.   It’s by invitation only.   But if you show up dressed as Santa, I bet he’d make an exception.


I wouldn’t go dressed as this Santa though…

In the U.K., a men’s fashion shop known for its creative Christmas window displays has some covering their eyes this year at the sight of an animated transvestite Santa who lifts his skirt to reveal stockings and garters. 

The store admits that it has garnered a lot of attention, not all of it good, but calls it “just a quirky spin on Christmas,” and says, “It wasn’t meant in bad taste.”

What do you think?  Just jolly good fun or you’ve jolly well gotta be kidding?


Speaking of garters…

While in some states, below-the butt jeans can get you fined, in New York, officials are cracking down on conspicuous cracks with billboards like this one.

But fear not.  Lovers of the droopy drawers look can still swagger their sag without worrying about popping out the whole package with "Subs," a new garter belt for men.  Moms of teenage boys who are tired of nagging them to pull up their pants will love this little part garter belt, part suspenders device that transforms their baggy-assed kid into someone they’d almost want to be seen with. 

At a mere $30, I think it has “stocking stuffer” written all over it. 


Continuing with our holiday theme, a big Merry Christmas to our gay and lesbian troops…

On Saturday, the Senate followed the lead of the House by voting 65 to 31 to finally end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” thus finally bestowing on all of our troops the dignity and respect they deserve.  Since I rarely have anything nice to say about Republicans, and in the spirit of the season, let’s give it up for the six GOP Senators who bucked their party to do the right thing:  Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Scott Brown (R-Mass), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

And to John McCain who led the fight against the repeal to the very end, “You sir, are a steaming pile of shit.”


Of course we can’t expect too much out of the Party of No.  File this under coal in your stocking…

This week the Republicans blocked passage of a lousy $7 billion dollar bill that would have provided medical care for the 9/11 first responders who are now dying of illnesses connected to their bravery on our nation’s saddest day. 

Can’t afford it, the GOP said.   So let’s see, sick and dying 9/11 heroes, go fuck yourselves.   But $700 billion in tax cuts we can’t afford for people who don’t need them?   No problem.

This decision was so shameful that even pundits at Fox News told the Republicans that they sucked.  I know.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it either, so here’s the clip and it's well worth watching.


And finally, who doesn't love a bunch of cute animals singing "Deck The Halls..."

May your Christmas be merry and bright...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

injaynesworld we are visited by "Ghosts From Christmas Past..."

This week I received a solicitation for discount prepaid cremation services and an offer for a three-week free membership for a senior online dating service – not from the same company.   Although, the thought of dating again does make me want to hasten my demise, so both of these offers arriving on the same day was not without a certain amount of irony. 

I have to admit that the holidays do bring out a bit of longing for companionship other than the four-legged variety.  Maybe it’s just nostalgia for childhood Christmases made jollier than they actually were from the passage of time.   The mind can do that, you know.   Get in there and mess with one’s memories until fact and fiction blur and before you know it the ghosts of Christmas past no longer have the power over you that they once possessed.

I’m a child of an alcoholic mother.   My Christmases were chaotic and rarely without the destruction of a few good plates.   I always had tons of presents though, even if some years I had to search for my hidden stocking goodies and stuff the stocking myself.   Mom never said a word about that.   Maybe she believed in Santa.  Ho, ho, ho.

I bear no ill will toward her.   It’s been decades since she died and, as an adult, I know she loved me and did the best she could.   Still the battle between us was fierce.   The more she drank, the more I punished her with the cruelty of my words and the harder my words stung, the more she would drink.

I moved out on my own when I was 19.   Coincidentally, that’s when she stopped drinking.   Trying carrying that one around for a lifetime.    Ho, ho, ho.

I wish I could recall our last Christmas together.  I would have been 22.   She’d been in and out of the hospital for an inoperable tumor on her spine.   Oh, yes.   She traded alcohol for cancer.   Go figure.   I  remember her last few months when there was nothing more to fight about and we finally became friends.   I worked in the music business and would score weed from the Grateful Dead to help her with the nausea from the chemo.  We’d get stoned, listen to the Dead and laugh.  Good times. 

Maybe that’s what we did that final Christmas.  

I’m tempted to sign up for that offer from the online dating site just through the holidays.   There might be someone out there with a childhood tale similar to mine and, if things work out, maybe we could even get a package deal on those cremation services. 

Merry Christmas, Mom. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

I don't even remember the last time I was sick.   Seriously.   It's been years.   I never get sick -- something I enjoy bragging about.   Colds, flu, allergy season pass me right on by.   So imagine my surprise when, after a visit with my God-daughter and her four-year-old sick son, I got slammed on my (size 4) ass.

Filed under "No good turn goes unpunished," I'd gone to L.A. on Wednesday to help put the lights on her tree and spend the night.  In all fairness, she told me the little rug rat had a cold, but a plan is a plan.   I'm kind of stubborn that way.   I was sure I could keep a safe distance and, in fact, not so much as a hug took place.  How could my otherwise stellar immune system possibly have failed me so? 

I blame Obama.   His capitulation on tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% among us quite frankly kicked the crap out of my otherwise strong constitution, causing me to enter germ central in an unusually depressed state.  To quote the always on point Andy Borowitz, "Obama agrees to extend custody of his balls to the Republicans through 2012."

And now I'm going back to bed.   Oh, yeah... I blame this shitty Recap on Obama, too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

Witchy Woman gets a book deal…

Because what is more fascinating than yesterday’s news?

If we’re over Christine O’Donnell now – and oh yes, I think we are -- what makes St. Martin’s Press think we’re going to be lined up to buy her book in August 2011? 

The press release states it will offer her take on the campaign and her “frustrations” with the political process – presumably with a forward by Sharon Angle, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorini.  

When did we become a nation obsessed with losers?


“Re-taste your youth at 40 proof…”

That’s the slogan of the company producing “Adult Chocolate Milk” a new liquor infused with a buzz-inducing kick of vodka.   The brainchild of two entrepreneurial Orange County, California moms, the drink is touted as a trip back in time when worries were few.   

Now these folks -- along with the couple that invented last week’s caffeinated popcorn -- are the kind that I’d enjoy reading a book about. 


Speaking of reading…

A judge has dismissed a petition for a ban on WikiLeaks, saying that nothing is greater than the truth and citizens have a right to be informed on the actions of their government.  Let’s hear it for our strong First Amendment.   Wait – you say this didn’t occur in the U.S.?

Yep.  This strike for liberty came from a judge in Pakistan, of all places, while officials here in the U.S. of Hypocrisy continue to persecute the messenger and try to silence the truth because God forbid our citizenry should actually know the kind of atrocious shit our government is up to around the world in the name of  “freedom.”

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that there are now more countries hunting WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, than ever gave a crap about looking for Osama Bin Ladin?

Here’s my take on the “embarrassment” diplomats complain these leaked cables have caused.   If you would just behave ethically in the first place, you wouldn’t have anything to be embarrassed about.  Hopefully, that will be the lesson our government takes away from this situation.


I could use a whole lot of Adult Chocolate Milk after this…

On Wednesday, House Democrats voted to permanently extend tax cuts for the middle class – that would be you and me.  

Then on Saturday Senate Republicans killed it – actually voting against tax relief for the middle class -- because it didn’t include their much-sought-after tax cuts for the rich – and remember that 44% of Congress are millionaires.  These are the same fine folks arguing that we can’t afford to help out needy, jobless families because we don’t want to add to the deficit, but apparently adding $700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years to pay for a tax cut for the richest 1% among us – all cool. 

So I’m thinking of retiring the Steaming Pile of Shit Award.  There just don't seem to be enough nominees that can compete with the GOP. 


And now, for no other reason than we could all use a good laugh, I present…

The Pattycake Pussies…

Imagine one named Obama and the other Mitch McConnell just for the hell of it. 

May your day be merry and bright…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

injaynesworld it's "Another Elfing Christmas..."

There seems to be a whole lot of bah humbug on the Internet these days.   Around here we love Christmas.   Yeah, yeah.  I know.  It seems to come faster every year thanks to overzealous stores force feeding us "Jingle Bells" before we can even digest our Halloween candy.  All that Black Friday and Cyber Monday crap designed solely to part us from our hard-earned cash can really kick the crap out of the spirit of the season, too.  It's easy to get caught up in all of it and feel sad or angry about the things we can't do or can't afford.  

Every year for the last 15 or so, I've thrown a big tree-trimming party for all my friends.  I always have an eight-foot tree with hundreds of ornaments and enough lights to tax the electric grid to capacity.   Last year, I was struggling financially and my friends all chipped in and rescued the party.   This year, I decided that even with help, it felt overwhelming.   I stressed about whether or not to go ahead with it anyway.  The thought of canceling such a tradition brought with it this very odd sense of failure that I couldn’t quite figure out. 

Then it hit me.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t have the party.  I didn’t want it.  Or the eight-foot tree.  Not this year.  And that was okay.  If I went ahead with it I'd be doing so only out of a sense of obligation, not to my friends so much, but to this idea that was stuck in my head of what I thought I had to have and do in order to celebrate Christmas. I realized all that was really needed was the joy of the season and I could create that in my heart.

This week I'll go shopping for my tree and I couldn't be more excited.   It will be three feet tall, the perfect size to sit atop a little glass table in the corner of my living room.   I’ll put on the Il Divo Christmas album, light a fire and smile at the memories my ornaments evoke as I carefully unwrap each one.   I'll pick my favorites:  A tiny framed photo, a fragile hand-painted kitten, a spotted glass pony, and so many, many more – every single one a gift from a dear friend from a Christmas we’ve shared.  And when I’m done, that little tree will sparkle with such light and love it will seem eight feet tall. 

Now let’s get some Christmas spirit going around here.

If you want to leave some Christmas cheer in the comments, I'd love to have it.   But if you're a big, old bah humbug, then just go elf yourself.  Merry Christmas.

Related Posts with Thumbnails