tip of the hat

A few quick grabs from the laptop camera before the year rolls out

Dan’s downtown sitting in with the Dayton Philharmonic tonight. He should be wrapping up well before midnight strikes.

I just got back from the grocery store where I paid extra attention to food labels and even did a little menu planning for good measure.

I’m saying my only resolution is to cut back on the sodas in 2009, but the underlying theme is much bigger: rely less on sugars, make more homemade meals, diversify the diet and generally shoot for a healthier life.

2008 was a fine year.

I went places, met folks, made stuff, moved into a house, lived through the Presidential election, lost a little more hair, and maybe, hopefully, I learned a few things. I should probably set aside some time to reflect and write some of that down, but dag, where’s the time go?

Either way you cut it, I’m looking forward to next year.

To health and happiness, for you and yours.

Current music: The Smashing Pumpkins “Rhinoceros”

At an arcade on Christmas Day

Mason, OH

Woke up on the 25th and folded leftovers into omelets.

As the day got on we avoided highways and drove south, meeting up with Dan’s sister and her family. They were staying at a lodge that had an indoor swimming pool.

While A Christmas Story looped on the TV I sat too close to a spread of tasty meats, cheeses, and carbs.

We went down to the arcade and played a bunch of games that spat out tickets—almost had enough for the cool lava-lamp nightlight.

The man behind the counter was feeling generous and gave the prize out anyway, saying there were extra tickets in surplus.

I made short clips of the spinning things and flashing lights. I am obsessed with these things.

Current music: Ben Folds “Before Cologne”

a card for gift cards

wrapping up the holiday

There are a few moments left before this Christmas Day draws to a close, and I just wanted to give a virtual tip of the holiday hat to everyone.

The time when I didn’t wear flannel and a ballcap

The latter half of Saturday

See that boy in the front row with the red flannel pants with white writing? His name is Eddie and we share a birth day. (Should I mention his pants say ‘Got gas?’)

For the last couple years I’ve been going to his party because his parents usually serve really tasty food and they’re all fun to be around.

This year the event occurred on our actual birth days and I thought I’d spiff it up a bit from my usual flannel shirt and ballcap. I walk in the door and there’s a whole crew sporting my signature style yelling, “Surprise!” Some even threw on suspenders for added lumberjackian flair.

I gave ’em my suspect squint and then they brought out a cake with my name on it.

They got me good.

The shared party was fun as usual. I got a gay coloring book among other goodies, I’ll scan in some choice spreads (pardon the pun) and share. Oh and the cake? I’ve been dreaming about its perfectness every day since.

I’m not related to any of these people, but they treat me like family anyway.

Thank ya.

And another big sloppy gushing hat tip to all the calls, comments, notes, cards and calls. As one of the darkest days of the year, it turned out to be mighty bright.

Christmas on my birthday

Santa Picks, from 1957 [ + zoom ]

For all the joy of the holiday, there is an underlying reflective melancholy.

I think Merlin captures this well as he writes about Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” He points out some great history in the lyric of that song. A fine read in which he says that Judy owns that song.

I agree, and Burl Ives owns Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and Bing Crosby embodies A White Christmas.

But I’m digressing from reflection, of which I’ve been doing lots lately, and a little extra today.

It goes with the territory of the season and getting old.

On the matter of aging, I’m constantly losing things. Then I spend half of the waking hour mentally replaying scenes to figure out when and where I lost something in particular. I’m even shaking my fist at the thought that these things aren’t lost, but stolen.

Oh, and my joints are creaky.

And for every hair that falls off my head a gray one appears in my beard.

And that’s just me. When I consider the rest of the world on any matter or level, there are lots of creaky joints.

But all this thinking without considering the good stuff would be terribly vexing—and though I’m not one to espouse that happiness has a price tag, I will relay this bright spot:

Dan and I decided that we’re giving ourselves a dining room table for Christmas. No other gifts, just a table. Trouble is, we couldn’t find one. Nothing fit what we had in mind or our budget. It had to be round, and tall, and seat 6, and be under $250.00.

We finally gave up and agreed that a table from Target would be not only fine, but potentially awesome.

When I was at work, Dan went out, bought it and set it up to my surprise.

Indeed, it does look awesome, and feels awesome.

So as midnight struck and we reveled in what turns out to be a whole new room for our house, I realized that it always seemed I got my birthday presents at Christmas. This year? I got Christmas on my birthday.

And the day continued to be fantastic, but I’ll save that for another journal entry.

reindeer is not amused

decor found at “The Greene” shopping center thing in Dayton

Before another day goes by and I fail to update my journal.

Curve

The bend before the Wyoming Exit #13 on I-75

it’s snowing

These aren’t Christmas lights, they are year round decor [ View the whole photo ]

If I was hankering for a project while the snow falls outside, I might experiment with this project to customize the shapes of bokeh. (The Flickr Blog has some fine examples)

But there’s lots to do that I didn’t quite squeeze into the earlier part of the week, and if I get all that finished and the roads look good, I’m driving south for the first holiday party of the season.

Current music: My Morning Jacket “One Big Holiday”