Monday, December 27, 2004

Absolute hell

For those who have lost family or friends in the great tsunami in Asia, my deepest sympathies to you.

At this time, there is nothing that I can to do to help, other than make a donation to a relief organization, such as , which I have done.

I encourage others to do so as well.

Hug your family and take a moment to appreciate how quickly ones life can be turned upside down.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

More holiday snafus

Another Christmas day gone by and I am left with a rumbling stomach. You see, I wanted to start a new tradition this year, since we weren't going to any big family dinners. I figured we could go out for Chinese food. This way, we would not be tempted by leftovers for the next week nor would we feel obligated to eat leftovers for the next week. Besides, the traditional beef or lamb roast does not appeal to me freshly cooked, nevermind as leftovers.

I did not take into account that Chinese restaurants in my part of town might actually be closed. Everywhere else we've lived, we could always count on them to be open on Christmas day, along with the local movie theatewr. We did get to see "Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events", but when we came out of the theater we noticed no cars in the lot of the Chinese food restaurant next door. So, after driving by 4 seperate restaurants, we came to the sad conclussion that dinner was not to be. Instead, we visited friends that informed us jokingly that "hear in the South, our Chinese are good Christians". It does seem to be so. Or it could be that since many of our Chinese restaurants are actually staffed by Mexicans, there may not have been anyone willing to work.

So, as my son chanted "your dreams are gone, your dreams are ruined" (which I thought rather unsettling), we headed back to our house for a less than inviting dinner of hard-boiled eggs and toast. Mmmm-mmm good. Hey, Mary and Joseph didn't have it easy either.

Walgreens - my new favorite store

It is the night before Christmas and all through the house, I am scurrying and searching for those gifts hidden months ago.

I found most of them, but had a bit of a scare when I realized that I had nothing for the stockings. For some this may seem trivial; but for us, stockings can be more fun than present opening. Those empty stockiong looked extra long too. I think someone has been hanging himself on them while they've been hung by our fireplace.

Off I went to my local CVS drugstore, only to find it closed. But what light yonder breaks, but the red flashing sign of the Walgreens up the street. Dashing through the snow (flurries) I arrive to find them not only open but actually stocked with all that I need; from candy to socks, to elctronic gadgets that will end up in my junk drawer before the end of the year. They are open untill midnight so I still have an hour in case I forgot anything else. I think I'm good - I just found the present I had hidden next to my laptop, so with it wrapped I should be done.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Baby it's cold outside

Here in Texas we are actually getting some cold weather for a change. This actually helps put me in the mood for the holidays since I am originally from the New England region.

I have a tough time getting into the "spirit" of Christmas, since it just seems like an over commercialized holiday to me. When I lived in Italy, I enjoyed it much more. There was more of a focus on the religous aspect of the holiday, without the hurried commotion of shopping, shopping, shopping for a gift for a cousin you only see once a year. I remember strolling the plaza, enjoying the sights, and just relaxing in the glow of the nativity star (it was about 50 feet long, they do go for some tackiness).

This year is especially tough for me since I will be away from my extended family during the holidays for the first time in 6 years. I do enjoy spending time with them; appreciating how my family can lift my spirits, even when they might not be on my good side. I would skip celebrating altogether if it weren't for my son. The wonder of the season captivates him, and the joy on his face Christmas morning is priceless.

In case you were wondering, Santa does not spoil him. In fact, my son leaves presents for Santa, so that he (Santa) can take them to other boys and girls who are not as lucky as he is. All on his own one day, my six year came up with this idea. I could not not support his generous spirit.

To all of you, I hope the magic of the season captures you and brings you joy and happiness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You Bastard

Something has been troubling me for a long time, and I'm hoping you, my loyal readers, can help me understand. Let me preface this by saying I have grown up in a family of Italian Catholics. I love them dearly, and have nothing against them.

As you may or may not know, a Catholic is not allowed to divorce per se, but the marriage is allowed to be annulled. In fact this is neccessary if you wish to remarry in the church. My question is: Are the children of that annulled marriage now considered bastards by the church? After all, the original marriage has been made nonexistent.

I would love to hear your answers.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I'm not in a bad mood so stop asking

Have you ever noticed that you can be minding your own business, just thinking of what you are going to have for dinner, when a co-worker, relative or loved one comes up to you and asks "Why are you in such a bad mood?" Your reply is "I'm not in a bad mood" and of course, "No, I can tell you are. What is wrong?" soon follows. By this time you are getting a little peeved, but still deny the bad mood. Of course friends never seem to drop this topic until they do put you in a cranky mood, to which they reply "I don't understand, everytime I see you, you are always upset".
My response now - "I'm in a bad mood because I like the view". It makes no sense, but they stop asking that stupid question.