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Monday, December 21, 2009


I've never felt comfortable journaling privately. My instincts tell me there's an invisible critic perched somewhere nearby cackling at the various solecisms that have crept into my work. If the public has access perhaps this will introduce a measure of accountability into my writing.

We are slouching towards Christmas. This used to be a much-anticipated event; it's now a scientific inevitability, like nature's call or photosynthesis. If it comes and you're not ready, they'll stop the press and hand you Scrooge's cloak. The clamor of carols in department stores says only one thing: "Buy Buy Buy Buy fallah lah lah lah lah." If you're not Scrooge you're a consumer.

I used to love Christmas trees.... Ah, the bliss of peering at this beautiful beast from the vantage of childhood. My wife and I stepped straight into a rather rude awakening at the local Home Depot. Tying this thing that properly belongs in a forest onto the top of a car in sub-zero temperatures hardly endeared the experience to me; I think I even whispered a "Bahumbug." After we got the tree into our microcosm of an apartment, I noticed with dismay that our floor had accumulated more needles than a vaccination clinic. While my wife broke out the tools of the trade---shiny trinkets and various globes bereft of all geographical features---all I could do was fantasize about vacuuming. Never had this seemingly mundane chore seemed so enticing to me. I noted with especial relish all of the small attachments on the machine that would allow me to search out the most arcane regions of our floor plan. I felt like a deep sea diver in search of lost treasure.

As I write, the tree leans crookedly as if whispering to the adjacent wall about my ineptitude. Every morning I'm sure I'll find the tree felled in the middle of our living room, blocking my path to the television. But there it leans conspiratorially; it's just biding its time.

I hope you're all fairing well this Christmas season. Maybe at some point we'll all find the time to escape the tree, the mall and those thousands of carols and see the people we call family and friends. I love you all wherever you are...

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