Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I was going to use this as entry into a contest but I decided I didn't wanted pay to do it so I'll let you enjoy it instead:

Old Joe thought he was going to be sick. The hamburger sandwich wasn’t sitting well. He should have known the lunch counter wouldn’t just give away their best food to a homeless bum like himself. Sure, many still had the Christmas spirit but what can you do?

As he stuck his hands inside his overalls, a toothless smile formed on his face. It was starting to get cold. As he walked, he stumbled and fell into the street.

He saw the car barreling down on him but it was too late.

Soon, the soothing blackness of death.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Maine

My story begins on Friday the 20th. My bus was delayed due to the previous days storm and the inefficiency to get back up and running 100% when shutting down. Later we hear from a father talking to his daughter on his cell. Her bus from Boston, and therefore my bus was broken down in Kennebunk. Alternator was shot or something. Another bus bound for the north finally arrived going a different route but would still get me to Bangor. We had to go through Brunswick instead. OK I was thinking. Fine.

First, I have to sit in the very front which, again, is fine. Then the driver asked me my name and tells me though this only the 3rd time he's done this route there is only one place in Brunswick he gets confused and maybe reading the directions out loud will help him. So I do it. I read for him to veer left and he turns left. I will point out here the directions they give their drivers suck ass. No mile markers and very few landmarks. So we drive and drive. I see signs for Bath, Woolwich, Wiscassett, Damarascotta and end up in Waldeboro before the bus gets into an uproar. We tell the driver we're pretty sure we past Brunswick so he stops at a gas station to ask directions!

Here's how far off course we were:

View Larger Map

After we backtrack to let the lone passenger off and go to Bangor, the trip goes much smoother. When we arrive, he has the bus give me a round of applause. I wanted to die. As was I came down with a cold...

Unlike most of my vacations, I didn't really watch any new movies except for a few TV movies. I will say though that The Nativity Story and even The Family Stone have a lot of re-watchablity.

Oh, I also finished reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. It was almost Dave Barry in it's quirkiness. I liked it.

At one point before Christmas, my mother and I went out with her next-door neighbor growing up in Bangor and her young daughter. The Chinese was good. The kid was brilliant but had no social filters. She wanted to talk about animal dissection during most of dinner. My favorite line was "I'm a very flatulent child."

The night before we came down to Portland, we played the closest game of "Sorry!" any of us had ever played. Any one of us had a good shot to win...

The party with my father's side of the family went very well even with my young cousin. The visit with the other side of the family could have been better as my littler cousin was there, though my mother lied to me and said he wasn't, and he's at that annoying age where he's an attention whore.

Why do I want kids again?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Closing In On Post #666

Thursday, I drove up to Bangor to see the play "A Year With Frog and Toad," which my second cousin was in, with my uncle and grandmother. My aunt and parents met us there. A drive that would normally take like 2 and half hours took about 5 because, well, the weather was just so awesome...

The musical was great, as I still love the stories, with, honestly, the best parts thanks to my cousin as Snail and "The Terribly Huge and Hugely Terrible Frog."

The best part of the evening came when we were going to our cars. (I and my traveling companions were going to my parents for the weekend.) My uncle goes to his car and can't unlock the door. We all assume the lock is frozen. My father down the street opened his car just fine so he didn't know what was going on. My uncle kept kicking the door with the side of his foot to no avail. By now, I'm sure you smart readers have deduced that it wasn't his car! Good times...

I was intending to drive back down on Friday but I get a call, well, two actually, that we have no power down here in Portland. My cousin asks if I could check on the cat for him. I was visiting extended family in Bucksport meaning I'd have to sleep in a cold dark apartment if the power wasn't on (It didn't occur to anybody until later they could call the apartment to see if the answering machine came on) or I could just go spend another night at my parents. I choose the latter with the guidance of my mother...

We watched Get Smart on demand. It really does capture the series quite well. The surprise ending with Duane Johnson wasn't a surprise and Smart and 99 got together way too easily but I loved it despite all that.

Saturday, after attending the grand opening of the thrift shop of my mother's church, the plan was for me to take the bus home. (I was informed the night before the power had returned.) A parishioner told my mother a group just happened to be headed to Portland to shop so I hitched a ride getting home about 5 hours earlier! Yay!

Why did I make such an idiotically short trip when I'm just going back up on Saturday? Well, mainly because of work tomorrow and piles of work in the library but tonight was the Seminary Christmas Party. It was a great time with perhaps even better food than last year (homemade feast) but I couldn't shake the feeling it was missing something. Like caroling...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Shatner Series Cancelled Prematurely

The final episode of one of my favorite series was last night. Boston Legal was both thought-provoking and zany all the same time. Creator David E. Kelly basically combined the sensibilities of his previous law shows. It had the seriousness of the show it spun-off from, The Practice, but knew how to have fun at the same time like Ally McBeal.

And the cast was amazing. Only James Spader, Candace Bergen and Wiliam Shatner were part of the cast in all five seasons but other luminaries included Monica Potter Rene Auberjenois, Julie Bowen, Parker Posey, John Larroquette, Tom Selleck, Betty White and Michael J. Fox not to leave out Shelly Berman, Anglea Cartwright, Gail O'Grady, Bernadette Peters, Cherie Oteri, Saul Rubinek, Valerie Bertinelli, Ming Na and so many others as guest stars!

An episode only a week or two ago pointed out that this show was the only one on television with actors over 50 in important roles. That the over fifty set spend more money and actually watch more TV, as opposed to just having it on while texting or whatever, than the coveted 18-35.

I'm still in that age bracket for a few more years and I loved the show since they appeared on The Practice laughing hard ever since. For awhile there, ABC became my favorite network but this move was simply ludicrous. What are they replacing it with? A Cops ripoff about Homeland Security. WTF?

In bizarre but possibly reactionary news, Jay Leno is moving to prime time when he leaves the Tonight Show in May. He'll have another talk show on NBC weekdays from 10-11 when the over 50 set that enjoy him so, at least my father does, are still up to watch it. What happened to him saying he wanted to retire so he could take Mavis out to dinner before he's 60? My question is: Will this new show be funny?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas Music

I could've Twitted about 6 times about this but I decided a short blog pot would work better:

On the Song "Do They Know It's Christmas Time At All?" by Band Aid in 1985(?):
1. Since Africa is like two-thirds Muslim, the age-old question should be "Do they really care?"

2. My favorite line is "Thank God it's them instead of you..." I assume they were just imitating assholes hearing this song but it still makes it sound like they're saying, "feeding starving Africans at Christmas is a good thing but if it was someone I actually know...that would just suck..."

One Final Thought:

-The title "The Christmas Song" should only be reserved for the song writing by Mel Torme about chestnuts roasting and knowing a turkey. If bands want to write their own "Christmas Song," which usually is pretty awesome, call it something else because that's just lazy...


Monday, December 01, 2008

Stirfry In The Devil's Wok

The title is a reference to my favorite line, found in chapter 4, of the book club book I just finished Saturday night: Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestup; who, by the way, went to the seminary I now work. The book tells the true story of how she dealt with the sudden death of her husband through mothering her four children, her job as Maine State Game Warden Chaplin, and her faith. There were hilarious parts and there were touching parts. I'm glad being part of a book group has encouraged me to read more nonfiction as I know for a fact that I definitely wouldn't have read this book for instance otherwise.

Where was I when I finished it? Working another string quartet concert at my church. No icy sidewalks or prima donna pianists so it went much smoother this time. Apparently, I'm being groomed to eventually take over for the guy from church that usually works them. Eventually. I'm ambivalent as he pulls out all the stops but the extra money would obviously be nice...
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