Friday, December 29, 2006

just needs the old John Hancocks...

Looks like we're finally selling our house :) By February I could be hiking in my own 13 acres of woods...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RIP: James Brown

Dear Godfather of Soul, even though you had some "issues" with domestic violence, your contribution to the American music landscape will be remembered always.

James Brown has now been added to my husband's running tally of musicians I have seen in concert that died shortly after I attended their concerts. Other names on this list include:

-Stevie Ray Vaughan (I was at his last concert; that night he died when his helicopter crashed into the ski hill at Alpine Valley)
-Jerry Garcia (I was at the last Grateful Dead show)
-Lou Rawls (died within a few months of us seeing him perform at Mohegan Sun Casino)

We saw James Brown maybe 3 years ago, so I'm thinking I'm not connected to his death. You may also note that Bob Dylan, Jon Bon Jovi, Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young, Ronnie James Dio, Vince Neil, and Eric Clapton are all still alive, despite my having seen them in concert, some of these as many as 15 years ago!

However, if it is true that I can kill artists merely by attending their concerts, I will need tickets to the following shows immediately: Clay Aiken, Nelly Furtado, Aaron Neville (who I already saw once but apparently my death mojo wasn't working that night), Paris Hilton, Toby Keith, Celine Dion...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Have great sex, help change the world

This year, I've vowed to mark the Winter Solstice with some sort of ritual. So, there I was, looking for ideas online, when I came across the GlobalOrgasm website. That's right, these folks want people across the globe to participate in a massive "synchronized global orgasm", at the time of the upcoming Winter Solstice (Dec 22). During and after orgasm, participants are asked to concentrate their thoughts on world peace. The idea is to create a huge surge of positive human energy in an effort to combat the high levels of aggression and violence present around the world today. I'll be the first to admit that the science behind the GlobalOrgasm project is certainly less than solid, but I'm happy to be a guinea pig in this experiment. See their blog for more.

Friday, December 15, 2006

PMS Book Review

I just finished this wonderful book:

And now, because I have PMS, I am totally choked up and sad and happy all at once. Actually, the book was so good that I probably would have cried regardless of the PMS...but that's enough talk about PMS.

"The Time Traveler's Wife", by Audrey Niffenegger, is a beautiful, crushing, uplifting, artistic, heart-rending tale of true love, with a highly original science-fiction twist. I can barely write any more about it as I am starting to get that "about-to-cry" headache again. All I can say is, read this book. You won't regret it (unless you also have PMS when you get to the end, in which case you may end up sobbing into a box of double-stuff oreos while wondering who would play Henry when the book is made into a movie and whether you would get to see him naked or not, and whether or not you would even want to, depending on how the filmmakers decide to handle the ending).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Merry Christmahannukwaanzaka to you!

With the house situation still in limbo, I've distracted myself with holiday decorating. I wasn't particularly eager to do it this year, having been enjoying the relative sparseness of a staged-for-sale home.

I should mention here that if it were possible to make a living in the clutter production trade, J would be CEO of the world's largest clutter-producing corporation. We can go from "showing-perfect" to "just-ransacked" in a matter of seconds. I keep trying to come up with creative organizational strategies that will help J reduce his clutter output, but haven't been completely successful. In an effort to eliminate his sea of post-its and torn scraps of paper (covered with phone numbers, website addresses, concert dates, movies to watch, CDs to buy, random calculations, etc), I bought him a PDA. The inside cover of the PDA is now covered with post-its. You see what I'm up against.

To get back on track, it's beginning to look pretty festive at our house. Which brings me to my next point. According to this article:

Americans are ready to put "Merry Christmas" back into holiday shopping, a new poll shows.

The majority of Americans surveyed - 95% - said they were not offended by a "Merry Christmas" greeting in stores, according to a poll by Zogby International.

However, 32% of respondents said they took offense at "Happy Holidays," the religiously neutral alternative promoted over the last few years as inclusive and inoffensive.

I actually take the Zogby polls, and I happened to take this one. I was among the 95% of Americans who is not offended by having a store clerk (or anyone for that matter) wish me a "Merry Christmas." Interestingly, the poll results confirmed a general sense I was getting, which was that my saying "Happy Holidays" is actually considered offensive by quite a few people. Yes, I celebrate Christmas, in the sense that I gather with family for food and the exchanging of gifts on Christmas day. But I am not actually celebrating Christmas as in celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In fact, for me the Winter Solstice will probably be the most spiritual day of the holiday season. Humans were celebrating during the yuletide season long before Christ was born, and it's not like I have to remind any of you where the vast majority of so-called Christmas decorations originated.

But back to the point. If you are a Christian and want to wish others a "Merry Christmas," by all means, go right ahead. By the same token, allow those of us who don't quite agree that "Jesus is the reason for the season", to wish you "Happy Holidays", without taking it as some sort of slam on Christianity. When I wish someone "Happy Holidays", it is because I sincerely hope that they will be able to spend happy times with friends and loved ones during the coming weeks, sharing in whatever traditions they choose to celebrate with each other. I fear that too many people, when they say "Merry Christmas", are really saying "Screw you, liberal heathens"...which I'm fairly sure was the real emotion behind the "tell the ACLU 'Merry Christmas'" scheme. (The ACLU has never filed any kind of anti-'Merry Christmas' lawsuit, by the way.)

So, how do I express myself this holiday season without offending? "Happy Holidays" is obviously risky, and "Happy Winter Solstice"--if the recipient even understands what that means--is just too new-agey and pagan for my taste. I think I'm going to follow J's lead and go with a good old "Happy Festivus".

Monday, December 04, 2006

another house update: thanks Ned Flanders?

So, we got an offer on the house this weekend. It was pretty low. We're in the midst of negotiations. We want everything to work out but we also don't want to give away our house for a steal.

Thank god I'm not buying a house by myself--I would be a total pushover. J tends more heavily toward stubborness, so I think we balance each other out well.

Hopefully all this will be a done deal soon!