Wednesday, December 30, 2009
If you look hard enough you can find negative reviews of James Cameron's Avatar, and I suppose some of the notes about cliches and obtrusiveness of theme are not inaccurate. For me, the sheer joy of Avatar as a moviegoing experience outweighs any of that, however.
Monday, December 21, 2009
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Gift bags when I can make them work, wrapping paper as a last resort.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
It’s been artificial for a few years, but we have opened negotiations on a real tree for next year.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. This year we were a little early.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Pretty quickly after the New Year, coinciding with the post-Christmas letdown they always discussed in "Peanuts."
5. Do you like eggnogg?
Yeah, but I may pass this year. We always wind up with a little left over in the carton.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Bonanza action figures – Ben, Hoss and Little Joe
7. Hardest person to buy for?
I do all right with everyone. The key is just not to put too much thought into the items you pick up from those novelty racks in big department stores. Unless someone I buy for is reading this. In which case, I put thought into your gift, just not the other gifts.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My wife gives me a list, calculated to stay within budget, shipping excluded, though.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
One that’s been in my family for ages. The paint’s worn off the figures, but I like it. OK, truth to tell it's put up so that it won't have cats rampaging through it like Godzilla through Tokyo.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I’m going to go with e-mail this year, though a Christmas letter was planned.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Let’s see which ticked me off more, the McDonald’s ornament I got as a gift at the office once, or the 59 cent compass I got in fifth grade.
12. Favorite Christmas Movies?
It's probably passé now, but it's "A Christmas Story.” I was flipping channels the first year that was on cable, encountered the “triple-dog-dare” scene and have been hooked on Jean Shepherd ever since.
I love "It's A Wonderful Life" too. Come on, what are you heartless? It's great.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I had better get started, hadn't I?
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not that anyone can prove without investigation and affidavits.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Either the duck or cornbread dressing. Tough to say.
16. Color of Lights on the tree?
Multi-colored enamel-coated C-7s. We’ve learned through experimentation this Christmas that four strands is what a single outlet can support.
17. Favorite Christmas song? This year, “Elf’s Lament” by BNL.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We work our way back from relatives’ homes to celebrate at our house.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Let’s see there’s Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Siegfried? ah, I know how to look it up if I need to.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
It’s an angel, kind of stylized glass with wings.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Well, some things have to be charged up or assembled on Christmas Eve so they’re ready for Christmas Day but generally it’s Christmas morning, a deviation from my childhood tradition. We opened family gifts on Christmas Eve. Santa's gifts were available upon waking Christmas Day unless they required assembly by my cousin who arrived around 11.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
I'm sure there's something about traffic and crowded stores, but I'm OK at the moment.
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
My parachuting teddy bear ornament. It’s a parachuting teddy bear, need I say more?
24. Favorite for Christmas Eve Dinner?
I don't have an official position on this.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
An iPhone 3Gs
26. What is your wish for Christmas?
I’ll defer to the Goo Goo Dolls: “Better Days.”
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Weeks following the diagnosis were trying as we struggled with our vet's help to stabelize her condition. Subcutaneous fluid treatments and appetite stimulants helped restore her to a better state.
I wrote a year ago about her first post-diagnosis holiday season. This season's beginngs brought a reminder of her condition. She threw up last Saturday. Apparently renal failure produces stomach chemicals that lead to nausea and vomiting.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I also picked up Garrison Keillor's A Christmas Blizzard at the library as well. It's a slightly zany account of a Chicago millionare who finds himself by going back to his snowbound home in Looseleaf, North Dakota.
It's my own personal celebration, but it works. Here's hoping it's a great season for everyone.