Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,
Yohannon
yohannon

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Holidaze 2006 - Welcome to the Vomitorium

Good morning, people. I trust if you're reading this, you survived the holidays: Unlike, say, James Brown or Gerald Ford.

Ford dying is a mixed blessing for Bush -- he can only hope that it distracts people from his major screw-up in Iraq and Afghanistan* for a week or so. I tend to think that one of the pivotal figures in the Watergate scandal dying might draw attention to the skill Nixon had in finding a way out of his little paranoid box without jail time. Smarter bloggers note that no one has to impeach the Shrub to get him to go away, but if you really want to drive him into the dirt you'll need to keep him from appointing a veep who will either continue to perpetrate Bushie's tunnel driven agenda in absentia. While in incredible long shot, I've been practicing the phrase "President Pelosi" -- just in case.

But I digress.

Self distraction and snarking almost got me through to the 25th before I had a minor meltdown. The meltdown may have been justified, at least, and the walk from the High street gas station on the 880 off-ramp back to the house cooled me off a bit. Google maps insists that's a mere 2.5 miles, and my cell phone's clock insisted that it only took me 20 minutes to power through. Amazing what a temper tantrum good head of steam will get you in terms of momentum.

For a change I'm going to cut a long, embarrassing tale of woe short and say that we worked it all out within the hour -- even if I managed to beat her home. Yes, she had the car.

But the snarking** DOES help. That, and working for a place that had a holiday tea and talent show that actually really rocked. I even got a chance to fire off a mini-marshmallow gun! Kim had alerted me to the existence of such a device only two months ago, but I was un-willing to drop 15 bucks (plus shipping?) to actually buy one. Good thing, too -- while a lot of fun firing, the cleanup if someone should happen to step or (heaven forfend!) sit on a marshmallow is not fun. Goo clean fun!

But damn, it does have a nice pump action and a very smugly satisfied "popping" noise as it fires. And people can't seem to get angry being pelted by a barrage (did I mention there were ten of these things at our disposal?) of mini-sugar puff bombs. Besides, they went with the keg o' hot chocolate that we had for the people who weren't up for the irish coffee or 'Nog. Yes, alcohol was involved.

The guns were ostensibly  to use as "gongs" for acts we deemed "most crappy" in the show. Oddly enough, only two acts came close to being pelt-worthy, and then only because the performers were involved in doing the show. People here are so god-damned talented it's not funny -- even the one bit where all the performer did was ready a child's book was oddly engaging, though the subject matter was truly bizarre.***

We were then gifted with some really kick-ass jackets. School letter jackets, to be precise -- complete with yellow leather sleeves and a "P4" in felt letters on the front.

Coming from a NYC/Long Island public educational system (by way of B.O.C.E.S. II), letter jackets were a quaint anachronism. Brentwood Ross Senior High had so many students that there was both a form of letter jacket inflation (there were so MANY freaking letter jacket opportunities they weren't the big deal they could be) and marginalization (the letters were outnumbered 20 to 1 by the rest of the student body). In a weird way this was something I didn't know I wanted.

I made sure to wear it for the half-day on Friday (we closed at 1PM). Since Roni was being released from prison work at about the same time, we hooked up with the small crowd of Perforcians that went for a "cleansing ale" at the local german pub. I walked in with Roni as an older woman was leaving, who asked me "What school are you all with?!".

We did look a lot like an almuni lunch. Considering how many of the high school jocks our age looked no better (and, in some cases, look worse) than we did, it wasn't as wacky a concept as I first thought.

While at the pub I witnessed either:
  1. A Christmas Miracle****
  2. A sign of the coming Apocalypse
There's a man I work with who is a great guy -- funny, always has a big smile for everyone, and is generally a congenial person to hang with at any gathering. His fatal flaw?

He's a Raiders fan.

The scary thing is how WELL Roni and Archie got along. When it came right down to it they could only agree that the Raider's really sucketh this year -- so much so that it stopped being fun to indulge in razzing them. Especially since we were all to recently in the same boat with the Niners. He even agreed that the "Raider Nation" was giving the team and it's fans a bad name. When Roni and I went to see the game against the Seahawks at Candlestick, there were only three fights I spotted in our immediate vicinity. One of those was the Raider fan who came wearing a Silver and Black 80 (it was Jerry Rice day a the 'Stick to honor his retirement) who didn't make it past the first quarter before he got a tad too rowdy. Archie admitted that, during one recent game he personally witnessed *50* fights.

During the first half.

Folks, Niner fans will rib the opposing team's supporters, but it's good natured. We won't throw beer bottles (or punches) at the back of their heads, nor shove garlic fries (mmmm... is it time for lunch yet?) up their noses.

Damn it, I'm digressing again.

Saturday night was a perfect peak to the pre-holiday snark. Technically OUR holiday (Solstice) was already past, but the holiday of my history is still X-mas, and the Kinsey Sicks show at the Herbst in SF (Oy Vey in a Manger) was a great way to give it the service it so richly deserved. *****

I turns out they've released "Oy Vey" on CD (which we purchased even before the show started). Once again we were apparently AT the Conservatory Theater shows when they recorded the songs, which means careful audio analysis will reveal Roni and I making appreciative noises. It also appears that they'll be screening their "I Wanna Be a Republican" documentary at the Roxie in SF the last week in January -- I'm thinking a large group of us could descend on the theater to savor the shredding, even if it's only virtual.

This tidbit was on the postcards distributed around the sold out auditorium and handed out at the end of the show -- including the one handed to me by a very ultra-attractive black woman as we left, who handed it to me as she called me by name. A tidbit that registered when I was already two steps away -- I should have went back to see who it was (though she called after me to say that it had been awhile). Ah well, the universe will arrange things if that's the way it should go.

Sunday. Well, I already mentioned my meltdown Sunday night, but the rest of the day wasn't so bad. The worst part was Roni doing the laundry even as she was getting sick (grumbles), and then running out to The Avenue to get a stupid security device removed.

Monday was lovely. Kim came over to open presents -- The highlights were a great pewter flask from Kim, a great comforter from Roni (my old one is about ten years old now and has seen MUCH better days), and a HoneyBaked Ham™ for dinner. We caught "Scrooged" on the tube (which Kim had never seen -- how does THAT happen?) and generally vegged out.

Now, considering the length of this missive you might guess how busy it is at work this week. Yesterday was "Boxing Day" in almost every other country we have a support office in, so we were pretty much it. And I still had time to catch up on a long list of Things I Want To Do. Of course, this was including the time it took for me to take the bus and walk to work, thanks to the fact that ROni had both sets of car keys because of a previously mentioned stupid moment -- apparently Karma IS instant. (Un)fortunately, Roni had to come home early to sleep off a cold, so I was able to tuck her in (ahem!) and retrieve the car key.

And that about catches it all up.

It's the 27th. I've made it through the bulk of the dark days (they get longer from here on in! Yay!) and only have to make it through the next week. Thanks and blessing to everyone who has helped, in one way or another, to float me through this emotional mine field.

* Interesting -- when I first wrote this up I accidentally wrote "Iran" for "Iraq". I wonder if my subconscious knows something I don't? Of course, the new hot rumor is that, since Iran is too big and tough for our troops, W will attack Syria instead. Won't THAT be festive?

** For example, what the HELL was Microsoft thinking when it comes to Vista and protected DRM infected content? Look, don't let my rant be your guide, check out this amazing white paper written by a computer science wonk in, of all places, New Zealand. Be sure to read the footnotes -- the guy presents solid arguments, good examples, and has an engaging writing style that should suck in even the "clicks and buzzes" crowd.

*** Plot: A mole is emerging from the ground when someone takes a dump on his head. Being near-sighted the mole doesn't see who does it, so the majority of the book is his query of "Who pooped on my head?" to various barnyard animals, who demonstrate their innocence by evacuating their bowels to show that their turds weren't like the one still coiled on Mr. Mole's head. SPOILER ALERT THE FIRST: It was the dog. SPOILER, PART (snicker) DUEX: The mole gets his revenge by... well, I think you can figure that one out.

What, you think I'm making this up?

**** I suppose it could have been considered a Solstice miracle. Hanuka already HAD it's big miracle. Kwanzaa doesn't seem to do acts of deities, and Fitzmas is a miracle meme. 

***** As in George Carlin's definition of "servicing the customer".
Tags: holidaze, personal, political, rant
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