Tag Archive | christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas vacation…


Saw this above screenshot of a tweet being shared and found it funny. Though I immediately wanted to compose my own:

  • Dec 23: Vacation Day
  • Dec 24: Christmas Eve (company holiday)
  • Dec 25: Christmas Day/Saturday
  • Dec 26: Boxing Day/Sunday
  • Dec 27: Christmas Holiday Observance (company holiday)
  • Dec 28 – 30: Combo of vacation days and odd company holidays
  • Dec 31: New Year’s Eve
  • Jan 1: New Year’s Day/Saturday
  • Jan 2: Sunday
  • Jan 3: New Year Holiday Observance (company holidays)
  • Jan 4: Back to Reality

I’m totally on board with the idea that for those of us who take at least a week off for the holidays that time does become a fog and the notion of weekdays and non-weekdays is tenuous at best.

My husband went back to work Tuesday. Which means that I kept thinking it was Monday.

Seattle and the surrounding area is currently under a blanket of snow. The first flurries hit our neighborhood late on Christmas Even, but the real snow didn’t start until very late Christmas. I’ve bee trying to keep the hummingbird feeder thawed out with mixed success. The birds have been extra competitive for food in the cold.

The main roads seem to be drivable, but we can’t get out of our street without dealing with one steep hill or the other, and I have been hearing tires spinning out on the closer of those hills. I may have to head to the grocery store on foot if for no other reason to pick up some prescriptions if the roads don’t improve.

I’d had hopes for today, because the weather report a few days ago said the temperature would get above freezing for a while that day… but now it’s 28° and the forecast is it’s going to stay below 30F.

We need a Rainbow Christmas more than ever!

Nearly naked guy in Santa hat holds present. The words Nice and Naughty are written across his chest.
Nice or Naughty?

Rainbow Xmas 2021 (To the tune of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ from the musical. Mame)

Slice the pumpkin pie,
And don’t be stingy with the homemade whipping cream,
Crank up the music,
I’m gonna sing and dance to drive the darkness away!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Eggnog by the fire,
With lots of brandy in it!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
My lyrics may be getting slurry,
But Santa dear, it’s time to scurry!

So fling ’round the tinsel!
Put up more twinkling lights than the whole Vegas strip!
Slice up the pound cake,
I’ve got a great big table of deliciousness, here!

Cause we’ve grown a little rounder,
Dealt with bad news daily,
Got tired of all the downers,
Gone a bit stir crazy,

And we need some loving kindness,
‘Specially over FaceTime,
We need a rainbow Christmas now!

Fill every wine glass,
Then raise a toast to vaccines, essential workers, and
People who mask up,
‘Cause if we work together, we can beat anything!

And we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Cocktails in the morning,
With bourboned cherries in them!

And I need a toasty lover,
Snuggling by the fire,
I need a rainbow Christmas now!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas now!

Don we now our gay apparel!
“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

A ’54 Convertible Too, Light Blue

1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, Pennant Blue

A few years ago I wrote a short post about one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Santa Baby" originally recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1953. I introduced that post with a screenshot of a conversation on twitter where it is revealed that there are a number of people out there who thought the Kitt’s song was using the name Santa as a codename for another person who happened to be her sugar daddy, rather than the most straightforward interpretation, Santa WAS her sugar daddy.

That conversation included a mention of a bad cover by Michael Buble, but that part didn’t register. Buble is someone whose work I just do not care for at all, so I apparently glossed over that bit.

So I was surprised earlier this week to come across a video of a guy singing an "aggressively gay cover of Santa Baby" which the singer said he’d decided to compose because of Buble’s "aggressively straight cover" of the same song.

Which is when it finally clicked with me: wait? Straight male singer Michael Buble recorded a cover of Santa Baby? Why would a straight male singer cover that song? I mean, that really is a bit WTF, you know?

And then description that it’s "aggressively straight." Did he change it so that he was singing to Mrs Claus? Asking Mrs Claus to give him all the outrageously expensive and extravagant gifts in the original?

I had to know. But I also refuse to listen to him sing. Fortunately one is able to find lyrics online. He doesn’t sing to MRs Claus. No, it’s to Santa, buddy. And oooooooh, boy! The people who slammed this as being an awful cover were being generous.

Several of the lyric changes just make no sense. For example, Kitt’s original included a line asking Santa to trim her tree with gifts bought at Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s is a famous jeweler. And they do sell ornaments. Very expensive ornaments made out materials like sterling silver or crystal, and sometimes decorated with gemstones. I always thought that Kitt’s lyric didn’t necessarily mean for Santa to buy her Tiffany ornaments, but rather to buy her enough Tiffany jeweled necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and so on to completely cover a tree.

Anyway, Buble changes that specific line from "with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s" to "with some decorations bought at Mercedes." Which I assume means Mercedes Benz, the car manufacturer. Mercedes Benz does license some companies to make ornaments based on some of their classic cars and their hood ornament… but the vast majority of these cost at most one-tenth as much as Tiffany’s ornaments. And unlike Tiffany’s jewelry, which could in theory be hung on a tree as if it were an ornament, a real car doesn’t work that way.

There are other problems with Buble’s cover, but I’ll only mention one more because it let’s be segue into talking about the original song. Whereas Kitt asked Santa for a "’54 convertible… light blue" Buble asks for a "’65 convertible… steel blue." Because light blue is apparently too girly for him?

Also, it is worth noted that Kitt recorded the song originally in 1953, so when she asked for a 1954 convertible, she meant the brand new, latest model. Not a classic.

Speaking of that convertible… for years I always assumed that Kitt was specifically asking Santa for a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster {pictured above}. One of the factory colors the ’54 model was available in was Pennant Blue. And it is a sweet looking car, right?

After I went down the rabbit hole of the aggressively straight (and bad) cover of the song, I decided I needed to listen to the original a few times to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Pulling that up in my digital library reminded me that Kitt recorded a sequel the very next year. In the sequel she describes out Santa got her everything she asked for last year–but now a lot of the presents have developed problems so she’s asking for upgrades.

In the sequel, she refers to the previous year’s car as a Cadillac, specifically. That would mean she got a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, likely in Viking Blue Metallic (the other available colors, Newport Blue and Cobalt Blue Metallic are not what most people would call "light blue"). Which is still a nice car {pictured below}, though I don’t think it looks as cool as the Corvette.

Anyway, enough talk about the song. Let’s listen to the original, eh?

Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (1953) – original TV broadcast performance on Christmas Eve Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby (1953)

1954 Cadillac Eldorado in Viking Blue Metallic.

It’s nearly time for the jangle java jingle!

jangle java jingle

We’ve reached the time of year where holiday coffee blends start appearing in stores, which means that once again I already have way more bags of these specialty coffees than I can used up during the holiday season!

Pictured above is my current haul, though I will be keeping an eye out for more!

My rule about using the holiday coffees is, with the exception of any that explicitly have Thanksgiving in their name, I can’t start using them until the day after Thanksgiving. So far the only Thanksgiving blend of whole beans I have found in stores have been Starbucks’ and I usually open that bag several days before Thanksgiving, which I have done.

Starbucks now has two different Christmas/Holiday blends, in addition to the Thanksgiving blend. The one in the purple/lavender bag is a lighter/milder roast. We’ll see how I like it.

I do keep hoping to find a bag of Starbucks’ in the blue foil variant (which tends to be stocked in Starbucks stores with a large jewish clientele). But I’ve never found one. Seattle doesn’t seem to have a large enough jewish community, I guess. I should mention that individual store managers decide which color and whether to order bags labeled "Holiday Blend" or "Christmas Blend."

Anyway, it’s that time of year! We got most of our Thanksgiving dinner things purchase. Our 11-pound turkey (the smallest we could find) is in the fridge slowly defrosting. I only work three days this week, and a bunch of my co-workers have taken the entire week off–including some of the people who most often interrupt me with emergency projects that need to be handled now–so I’m hopeful it will be a quiet, productive week.

Wish me luck!

A bit of rock (sugar), a lot of rye, some sliced citrus, and a bunch of spice

Throughout December I started several blog posts without finishing them. There were more distractions than usual this holiday season. I decided that even though several of the unfinished post are seasonal, I should finish and post a few. So, here’s one:

During the weeks we were shuttling car loads of stuff from the old place to the new, I poured the last bits of a couple of bottles of bourbon into jars with a sliced orange, lemon, a couple of vanilla beans, and various spices to infuse for a few weeks to make a batch of Rock n Rye. After filtering and decanting, I made this label when we set out the libations at the Christmas party.

During the weeks we were shuttling car loads of stuff from the old place to the new in 2017, I poured the last bits of a couple of bottles of bourbon into jars with a sliced orange, lemon, a couple of vanilla beans, and various spices to infuse for a few weeks to make a batch of Rock n Rye. After filtering and decanting, I made this label when we set out the libations at the Christmas party.

For a number of years I ran a Steampunk-based roleplaying game. We got together about once a month for an afternoon game. And people brought food to share, it that it was also a potluck. My husband would frequently look for period recipes that could be adapted into a good potluck dish. In the course of this research he happened upon the origin of the liqueur known as Rock and Rye. It was invented in the 1800s by a guy who was trying to figure out how to turn a large quantity of bad-tasting bourbon into a sellable product.

This requires a short digression about bourbon, particularly bourbon in the U.S. during the 19th Century. Farmers had long been in the habit of turning a certain amount of their annual grain production into alcohol. Besides being a product other people were willing to pay for, barrels of whiskey and similar spirits could be stored safely for much longer than grain could. Usually. But every now and then something would go wrong (the storage building might have gotten to hot for a period of time, or could have been flooded, et cetera) and many barrels of the alcohol that should have aged into something quite delicious would be ruined.

So, this guy had come into possession of a quantity of such bourbon, and he tried various things to make it palatable. The process he settled upon was to mix rock candy (sugar), sliced up citrus, and some spices (most notably star anise) into the bourbon, let it infuse of a month or so, then strain out the liquid. The result was a sweet-tasting booze that carried a deceptive kick (because the citrus oil, sugar, and spices masked a lot of the alcohol taste). He patented it and began selling it for its supposed medicinal purposes. Many decades later, during Prohibition, because Rock and Rye was still often sold in drugstores as a medication, it was one of the few products containing alcohol one could buy in many states.

The point was that there was a recipe for how to make batches of it at home, rather than go to a liquor store and see if they carried the manufactured stuff. Pick of the cheapest kind of rot gut whiskey you could find (it didn’t necessarily need to be bourbon or a rye whiskey), slice up an orange and/or a lemon, put it in mason jars with rock candy, star anise, and so forth. Keep it in a dry cool place. Check on it and shake it every now and then to make sure the sugar dissolves, and eventually strain it out into bottles.

Two of the labels from last year’s batches…

We tried it. And I was quite surprised at how good it was. I started experimenting some more. Any time I picked up a new bourbon or rye (assuming it wasn’t too expensive), if I decided I didn’t really like it for making cocktails, it would go on a back shelf until I was ready to make a batch of rock and rye. It’s difficult to find plain rock candy now a days—it almost always has artificial colors and flavors added—but I can usually find Lump Candy at the local asian market, which works just fine. You can also find big bags of star anise, as well as cinnamon sticks, at much cheaper prices than the regular grocery store.

What would usually prompt me to make a batch is if I noticed that I had an orange or a lemon or lime in the fruit bowl that was getting iffy. The skin was hardening and you just know in another couple of days it would start to mold. So I’d grab a couple of mason jars, whatever cheap bourbon was on the back shelf, a package of rock candy, and start assembling. For spices I tend to put three or four stars of anise in each jar, two or three sticks of cinnamon, and about five whole cloves. Sometimes if I have vanilla bean on hand I’ll slice one of those and throw in, as well.

And sometimes there would be other fruit. There was a bunch of dried apricots and dried cherries left over after my husband made solstice cake one year (and the leftovers had been sitting in the pantry for a few months at that time), so they went into a batch of Rock and Rye.

The last partial bottle that I still haven’t quite finished off.

For the last several years I’ve made two or three bottles (one batch is usually two mason jars, which once you strain out the solid bits, turns into one bottle of finished products) in time from our annual Christmas party. I give each batch a name, based on what it tasted like when I sipped it, and I make labels for the bottles. I’ve been picking up small plastic shot glasses that are in the shape of the red plastic cups you see frat boys drinking beer out of in movies—I can usually find them in both red and green at Christmas time. And I set out cocktail umbrellas along with the shot glasses, just for fun.

Because it isn’t the same base booze each time, and because the citrus isn’t always the same, the batches do wind up tasting very different from each other.

Last year I ended up making three batches, plus I had a lot of the 2017 favorite, “Farewell to Ballard” leftover. The three batches I made last year wound up being labeled “You’ll Get a KICK Out of Me,” “Feel the Lemon Flow Through You,” and “As Sure as There’s an X in Christmas!” Two of those are song lyrics, and one is a riff on a line from Star Wars.

Because we’ve been caught in this slow-moving apocalypse for eleven months, I didn’t make any new batches of Rock and Rye. If we couldn’t get together for a party, there would be no one to share them with. And for whatever reason, I still had a lot leftovers from last year, any way.

I typed whatever, but I know a big part of the reason. It isn’t a beverage that you drink a lot of at a time. One of my friends misunderstood the first view years we did it, and was shocked after he had been sipping at a shot for a while at how the alcohol was hit him. When I describe letting the booze infuse with the citrus and sugar, that gives some people the impression that it is juice with some booze in it. It is not diluted. It’s still a shot of bourbon, it just has flavor added. No significant amount of the juice of the citrus winds up in the liquid. You get the citrus oils, not the juice.

It’s the kind of thing that you drink in small quantities. And sipping shots of flavored bourbon by myself isn’t that appealing. But I’ve invented a couple of drinks using the Rock and Rye as a base. One is a toddy: put a shot or two of Rock and Rye in a mug, top off the mug with hot water, add a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick. It’s really good on a cold winter night. The other is a Rock and Rye and Soda: but some ice in a double rocks glass, add a shot or two of Rock and Rye, top off the glass with seltzer water. The latter is a bit better for warm weather.

I realized that I still had those bottles left over the week that we hosted the virtual version of the party. I have been trying to use them up so I can clean out the bottles and think about possibly making a batch for next Christmas. Because maybe we can have a party this year?

Friday Five (stay ho-ho-home edition)

We have reached the fourth and final Friday in December. This is also the final Friday in 2020, and year that I think everyone agrees needs to be over.

It also happens to be Christmas Day. In a normal year that would mean that likely most people wouldn’t be reading things online until later in the day, after much of the festivities are over. But most people should be staying home, opening presents over zoom or facetime or something.

Because it is Christmas Day, I had mixed feeling about what kind of stories I ought to include. In doesn’t help that every day there are worse and worse headlines about the crybaby-in-chief and his latest temper tantrum. But in the end, the news is what it is. So, this Friday Five I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about science, five stories about people who definitely aren’t on Santa’s Nice List, five stories about the pandemic, and five videas (plus things I wrote and a notable obituary).

Stories of the Week:

Crying on the Clock Is the Best WFH Perk.

SolarWinds Adviser Warned of Lax Security Years Before Hack.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Fetterman relentlessly trolls Dan Patrick seeking $1M voter fraud bounty.

Arizona GOP May Face Sanctions for Filing Lawsuit Contradicted by Audit, Judge Suggests.

Secret Service Has No Plan if Trump Refuses to Go, Sources Say. A more accurate headline would be, “Secret Service Will Not Say Whether They Hava a Plan if Trump Refuses to Go”

This Week in Science:

Aliens at Proxima Centauri? A New Radio Signal Raises the Question.

‘Beautiful’ dinosaur tail found preserved in amber.

Ancient wolf cub found ‘perfectly preserved’ in Canadian permafrost. We even know what it ate.

The year 2020 in space discoveries.

The Forest in the City – Researchers are looking for answers to the mysterious die-off of sword ferns in Seattle’s Seward Park..

This Week in People Who Definitely Got Coal In Their Stockings:

Another Blow for QAnon as Voat (aka Alt-Right Reddit Knock-off) Announces a Christmas Shutdown.

NY Attorney General subpoenas pro-Trump troll Jacob Wohl for voter suppression scheme – Wohl and Jack Burkman have been criminally indicted in Ohio and Michigan in connection with the robocall scheme.

How Offshore Oddsmakers Made a Killing off Gullible Trump Supporters – The emotions and strategies behind record-setting bets on a MAGA victory that never came.

FBI: White Supremacists Plotted Attack on US Power Grid – The FBI alleges in an affidavit that white supremacists schemed to attack power stations in the southeastern U.S. and one Ohio teenager wanted the group to be “operational” on a faster timeline if President Donald Trump lost his re-election bid.

Christians Invaded Native American Sacred Space to Pray Away “Dark Energy”.

This Week in the Pandemic:

Misinformation about the vaccine could be worse than disinformation about the elections – The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines is presenting social media sites with fresh and daunting challenges.

Every US coronavirus death is preventable, health expert says.

U.S. to require all air passengers arriving from U.K. to test negative for COVID-19.

COVID-19: South African variant may be worse than UK variant.

Black doctor dies of COVID-19 weeks after turning to social media to chronicle racist treatment.

In Memoriam:

James E. Gunn, Science Fiction Author and Scholar, Dies at 97.

Things I wrote:

Playing catchup, virtual party, and counting down to Christmas.

A proper Christmas… however you define it.

Unintentional physics lessons, anniversary, and more.

We need a Rainbow Christmas—especially in quarantine.

Videos!

“Twas The Coup Before Christmas” A Late Show Animated Holiday Classic:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Top Republican HUMILIATES Sidney Powell ON FOX NEWS:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

ARE YOU A DOUBLE DIPPER?:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Steve Grand – I’ll be home for Christmas (Official Music Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Tom Goss – Christmas 2020 – not all pandemic-themed holiday songs have to be melancholy (not that there’s anything wrong with that):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

We need a Rainbow Christmas—especially in quarantine

“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

Rainbow Xmas 2020
(To the tune of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ from the musical. Mame)

Slice the pecan pie,
And don’t be stingy with the homemade whipping cream,
Crank up the music,
I’m gonna sing and laugh to drive the darkness away!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Egg nog by the fire,
With rum and brandy in it!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
My lyrics may be getting slurry,
But Santa dear, we’re in a hurry!

So fling ’round the glitter!
Put up more twinkling lights than the whole Vegas strip!
No need for fruitcake,
I’ve got a great big platter of deliciousness, here!

Cause we’ve grown a little rounder,
Grown a little bolder,
Grown a little prouder,
Grown a little wiser,

And we need some loving kindness,
Even over FaceTime,
We need a rainbow Christmas now!

Fill every wine glass,
Then raise a toast to full lives, and each other and
Join in the laughter,
Because our joy can push through masks and distance guides each day!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Cocktails in the morning,
With brandied cherries in them!

And I need a toasty lover,
Snuggling by the fire,
I need a rainbow Christmas now!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas now!

Playing catchup, virtual party, and counting down to Christmas

This year’s theme is The Big Gay Christmas Tree™️ (photo by my husband)

I haven’t been posting much all month. November’s semi-hiatus was planned, because I was doing NaNoWriMo1, so I was trying to put all of the time when I wasn’t working to writing for NaNo, rather than blogging. Once November was over I needed to shift gears to try to get the Christmas Ghost Story2 finished before the virtual Christmas Party, but I didn’t expect to almost completely stop blogging!

Part of the issue, I realize, is that things at work went super intense because we had an outlandish3 number of software releases scheduled to push out to customers before everyone goes into holiday hiatus, so I was working late several days of every week, and found myself so exhausted I needed to take naps a couple of nights each week.

I’ve been taking at least one vacation day every week since August because of some draconian changes in vacation policy. Which seems really nice until you realize that part of the draconian bit is that despite forcing most of the work force to take time off, the corporate overlords are insisting that none of the previously committed delivery dates can be adjusted. Which means that we’re still working just as many hours, but squeezing them into four work days a week instead of five.

And no, when you’re classified as a salaried and exempt employee that isn’t illegal, even though it ought to be4. Moving on.

Before the virtual party, my hubby arranged the presents before taking pictures to share.

I had Friday off, and I had worked very late two nights before that, but I managed to get up, moving, and out to do the shopping at a reasonable hour. I finished the Ghost Story in the wee small hours of Saturday morning6, as I almost always do. I always end up in a state where I’m spinning my wheels, ditching scenes and writing replacement scenes no matter how early I start the story.

I got the story finished and practiced and we were both in a good, rested headspace when it was time to log into the virtual party and start being social. I did not finish the story in time where I could both practice reading it aloud a few times and record the performance in advance to upload to either my Patreon or Youtube channel as I hoped7. I may still try to do that. We’ll see9.

Besides not getting to see people in person, another thing that was a bit disappointing about the virtual Christmas party is we didn’t have the usual gift exchange. A couple of people were willing to open presents on camera because they had received presents from some of the people on line, but it’s not the same. I could have, obviously, decided to open any number of the presents that I’ve received. But the truth is that my favorite part isn’t opening presents myself10, it’s seeing other people open presents and react to them. That’s where a lot of the laughter at the party occurs. And you get to thank the person who gave it to you right then. And you can hear the story about how the person who gave you the present found this thing and why they thought of you, when appropriate it.

So I wasn’t really chomping at the bit to open any of mine.

For the last few years Christmas day has been just Michael and I, whereas it used to be like that only on alternate years. We started this after barely getting through the first Thanksgiving after the Grifter-in-Chief was elected without punching certain relatives in the mouth12. It was a very unpleasant holiday, all right?

So for December 2016, ’17, ’18, and ’19 I have driven down to southwest Washington a few days before Christmas to drop off presents with my Mom, one of my aunts, my sister and her family, and my grown niece and her family. It’s always a day that I have off but my husband has to work13. Then we have a day or more to ourselves before the actual holiday plus Christmas Day itself.

I have to admit I kind of miss getting to do that trip this year. I like seeing everyone in person, and for whatever reason17 when we’re not down there on the actual holiday they talk a lot less about the various unpleasant topics. On the other hand, given the way the weather has been this week, which would normally be the time I’m most likely to take the trip, I’m just as happy not being on the freeway.

So I’ll just keep working from home for the next couple of days, enjoy gazing at our Big Gay Christmas Tree™, and keeping counting down until Santa arrives.


Footnotes:

1. I did make my word count goal, though I didn’t exceed the last few years’ word counts as I had managed to do a few years in a row until now.

2. The annual tradition I’ve followed since 1995 is that I write an original Christmas Ghost Story to read at the party, and challenge other folks to read something they’ve written—or otherwise perform something. We’re had people sing, play a musical instruments, all sorts of things.

3. It really is edging up into the impossible at this point…

4. It is amazing how many times when I have mentioned something like this online, how many randos feel obligated to chime in to say this sort of thing is illegal. It just reminds me how many people don’t work in the sorts of industries where everyone qualifies for the IRS’s definition of exempt employee and therefore assume that hourly working regulations apply5.

5. It’s particularly amazing at how many of them don’t understand that virtually every company that has managed to get most of its employees thus classified does these sorts of thing to exploit their employees.

6. Sort of. I mean, I reached an ending by about 3:30am and then promptly crashed for a few hours. After I woke up I kept thinking about it and didn’t like how I’d ended it. I mean the very ending, yes, but the way I’d written the story and the fairy tale tropes I was using had prompted me to write a long denouement that a short story typically has nowadays. So sometime shortly afternoon I deleted most of the denouement, replacing it with a single sentence, and then I was much happier.

7. I need to upload things to both far more often…8

8. Given my activity thus far this year, by “more often” I really mean “at all.”

9. I’m not sure how much appeal there would be to hearing a Christmas Ghost Story after Christmas, so if I don’t manage it in the next few days…

10. Which is not to say I don’t enjoy getting presents. That’s fun. And trying to guess what’s inside and then opening it is also a lot of fun. I particularly love those times when someone finds something I didn’t even know existed, but if I had known I would have put it on my own wishlist11. That’s just amazing.

11. In the realm of books and music, my friend Mark is incredibly good at this.

12. The cliche usually mentions the racist uncle—the problem goes deeper than that. The homophobic relatives who don’t believe they are homophobic, the relatives who repeat white supremacist talking points from Fox News without thinking, et cetera, et cetera. That’s part of the reason we instituted the old rule of we would visit them for one of the big holidays each year, then stay home for the other.

13. I always got asked several times why Michael wasn’t there. They accept that I get more paid time off than he does, but I keep expecting them to start accusing me of keeping him away from them or something14.

14. I’ve mentioned before that I strongly suspect a bunch of my extended family on that side like Michael more than they do me. Which I’m perfectly happy with, because I think he’s awesome, and given how many of the family perceived my late husband, Ray, as some sort of evil person who surely must had done something diabolical to me to turn me gay15, them all enthusiastically liking my husband is a decided improvement16.

15. I have been gay for as long as I can remember, I just didn’t have words for it when I was younger, and then because I feared all the homophobic people around me once I realized what was going on after puberty hit, I hid it from them.

16. One of his reasons for not accompanying me on these trips during those years is that he doesn’t want to use up one of his more limited number of vacation days for that purpose, but also because he winds up biting his tongue a whole lot more than I do when they start parroting Fox News.

17. There are two reasons I can think of. First, there’s something about having a bunch of people together for several hours on a holiday that seems to make some folks feel obligated to fill any moments of silence with something, and so they are just more likely to spout off as the day goes on. Second, since I tend to be dropping off stuff at each individual house, and they know I have other people to get to and so on, they think of it as a visit with me, rather than a general group get-together. So topics remain focused on the social visit and catching up on our personal lives, rather then discussing world events, the coming apocalypse18, and so on.

18. I’m not exaggerating, here. The kind of Bible-thumping evangelical fundamentalism my extended family adheres sees every single world event as either a direct attack by demonic forces, or a sign that Commando Jesus is going to descend from the heavens soon, kill all the unbelievers, and take the true believes back up to rule in heaven.

It’s Time for Mistletoe and Holly

Whatever holiday you celebrate, and however you celebreate it, I hope this week has been a time of joy and love for you and yours.

Merry Christmas!

Shabbat shalom!

Blessed Yul!

Joyous Kwanza!

Festive Festivus!

Happy Christmas!

Happy Hogswatch!

Feliz Navidad!

God Jul!

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!

Beannachtaí na Nollag!

Buon Natale!

Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu!

Felix Dies Nativitatus!

BLACK SANTA TRADITION CONTINUES THRIVING IN SOUTH SEATTLE, CENTRAL DISTRICT.

This Children’s Book Is All About a Black, Gay Santa Claus.

Cat-astrophe averted: Longview firefighters resuscitate 4 cats after house fire.

The Pope’s Xmas Message: Don’t Be Such Dicks.

Dance Of The Sugar Plum Lesbians.

Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You (Make My Wish Come True Edition):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Have some more tunes: https://youtu.be/oO851xeYslI

Getting underwear for Christmas doesn’t have to be a bad thing…

Another Rainbow Christmas!

“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Merry Impeachment! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Merry Impeachment! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

Slice the pecan pie,
And don’t be stingy with the homemade whipping cream,
Crank up the music,
We’re gonna sing and laugh to drive the darkness away!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Egg nog at the brunch bar
With rum and brandy in it!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
My lyrics may be getting slurry,
But Santa dear, we’re in a hurry!

So fling ’round the glitter!
Put up more twinkling lights than the whole Vegas strip!
No need for fruitcake,
We’ve got a great big table of deliciousness, here!

Cause we’ve grown a little rounder,
Grown a little bolder,
Grown a little prouder,
Grown a little wiser,

And we need some loving kindness,
Shared with those around us,
We need a rainbow Christmas now!

Fill every wine glass,
Then raise a toast of full lives, to each other and
Join in the laughter,
Because our joy can push through all the darkness and stife!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Cocktails at the brunch bar,
With brandied cherries in it!

And I need a toasty lover,
Snuggling by the fire,
I need a rainbow Christmas now!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas now!

%d bloggers like this: