Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Very Boring Year-end Post

The general opinion of 2009, if one can derive such a thing from perusing the internet, is that it tanked big time. In view of recent events, it is my gut reaction to agree. Working for a non-profit, I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but at least I'm in a clearing.

Before we dump the entire year, though, I got to thinking -- rather, yesterday's miraculous save got me to thinking -- of all the life-affirming moments that have happened throughout this year that not only got me through, but made me just a little less cynical than before.

I was reminded of this yesterday when Dirtman arrived home from work toting our usual order of bird seed from Wildbirds Unlimited with an added gift of a snowman seed block, courtesy of store owners Bruce and Dolores Johnson. We were out of feed and Dirtman called to see if they were planning on grocery shopping where he works and could they toss a bag* in their car for us.

Nothing makes me happier than giving my birds a treat.

So, if this is a sappy, sentimental farewell to 2009, it's because of little gesture like that -- like Gwynne sending us suet cakes just when we ran out and couldn't afford anymore (she also sent us ham to feed people -- but she remembered my birds!).

Oh, I don' mean to downgrade the big things that have blessed us this year. We would not have made it without our families helping us out financially while we scrambled to find jobs that just weren't out there. Dark Garden helped us keep our sanity by providing us with a vacation and our neighbor/landlord who never once made us feel like losers when we were late with the rent.

So, no. I'm not writing off 2009. It was the year that took the edge off my cynicism. Turns out I'm not such a tough old broad after all.

*Believe me, we've tried to get cheaper brands, but the birds just leave it there. Wildbird's seed even looks fresher. Cheap seed looks like half of it has already been hulled.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My landlord thanks you too

Boy -- when you guys rally the prayers, you all mean business!

I feel like taking on something big -- like walking into the worst part of D.C. and when anyone harasses me telling them, "Back off, Jack*! My peeps are praying for me."

I return to work Monday.

*I don't know for sure if it is, indeed, Jack who will be harassing me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A small streak of insanity

I am convinced the world is divided into people who hate snow and people who love snow.

I know of no one who is as ambivalent to snow as they are to, say, fog or even rain. We may balk at several rainy days in a row; but a single rainy day we accept as a necessary part of the natural order of things. But let the threat of a single day of snow loom on the horizon and suddenly everyone separates into two camps: the snow lovers and the snow haters.

Incidently, skiing and snowboarding are taken out of the equation. A true opinion about snow can only be formed apart from recreational activities requiring said precipitation because most people cannot just pop off to Aspen when the weather is conducive.

Common sensically, it stands to reason we'd all hate snow. It wreaks havoc on infrastructure, it's inconvenient, and it can be downright dangerous. On an intellectual level, snow haters are absolutely justified and are, hands down, the wiser of the two groups.

Which is why I think there is a small streak of insanity in every snow lover. Our only argument -- that it is beautiful -- pales miserably in light of what should be our penchant for survival. Yet its beauty overwhelms us to the point that we just don't care. We love it just the same and think snow haters are speaking some incomprehensible babble when they whine about "digging out" or "clearing the roads."

So I present to you my favorite Night Gallery episode which truly separates the snow lover and snow haters. Snow haters see it as a young boy's descent into insanity. Snow lovers are just a little envious of the boy Paul and in awe of the world he's built for himself.

So, as we approach what looks to be a snowy first of the year, enjoy the beautiful (if you are a snow lover)/ disturbing (if you are a snow hater) poetry of Conrad Aikens' Silent Snow, Secret Snow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Minimal whining and then "Awwwww!"

So, having spent a weekend alternately weeping in panic and pretending there is absolutely nothing wrong, I've resigned myself to acceptance because -- well, what else it there to do?

It's another of those situations where I say to myself, "Now. Now I will have the nervous breakdown." And then I wait around for one and it never comes, and someone asks, "What's for dinner," and there I am, frying the garlic and making jokes and carrying on as usual. Then it's too late for the nervous breakdown because, well, there I am coping already.

So. No nervous breakdown for me. Dammit.

All prayers are gratefully accepted and thanks to all those of you who have already started. This is not something for which I usually advertise so openly (I always figure God has a lot better things to do than save me from my own stupid decisions), but I'm asking now. And I'll leave it at that.

Just to bring things back to normal, here are a few pictures of Abbey and her hedgehog. Australian Shepherds do not fetch, but Abbey will fetch the hedgehog. The hedgehog prevents her from stealing all our socks too. She doesn't chew them; she just...collects them.

Can you stand the cuteness?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In which Sisiggy actually comiserates with Dolly Parton

Don't want to be a downer and I can't believe that a Dolly Parton song is relevant to my life. I only know this song since Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is one of Dirtman's favorite movie musicals (mostly because of this). I saw it live on Broadway back in the day (a gift from a bank client who couldn't use the tickets). This song wasn't in the original play.

Since I got "laid off" from work a day ago (Merry Christmas!) and, since I'm the only one here with a full time job, this song has been running through my head.

I'm beginning to think I've been too hard on ol' Dolly in the past...

I'm also wondering what it says that I identify with a bunch of hookers out of work...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The condensed version

See, the thing is not so much that I haven't anything to post about. The thing is I can't seem to narrow down the multitude of annoyances about which I could go on and on about.

For instance, last week I started a post about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I want it back to being a parade and not a three-hour commercial. But somehow, in ranting about the farce that they call a parade, it turned into a rant about car commercials, particularly those presenting cars with big red bows because (to make a long rant short) it is the ultimate warping of the spirit of gift giving.

There was a brief (for me) mention of the landfill fodder churned out by Walmart and its willing accomplices who put their brand names on crap that clueless consumers buy thinking they're getting a top-of-the-line product.

Somehow this led to a portion best labeled "The Price of Your Conscience," which will someday be a legitimate piece I will write just as soon as I find someone interested enough in my point of view.

Then I spent way too many words discussing "designer labels" and how that phrase makes me want to set fire to the hair of every anorexic blond trophy wife in California (believe me, I somehow made this sound feasible and justified, at least to every normal woman in the country not married to an over-paid sports figure or not a "Housewife of...").

Hmmm....let's see....who else did I insult...Hannah Montana (or whatever her real name is) and Taylor Swift (whoever she is, but I keep hearing her mentioned), Disney (is no one else concerned about mind control?), Rita Mae Brown (who I love and don't really want to tick off, but honestly, Ms. Brown, the sign of true manners and breeding is that one does not POINT OUT OTHERS' LACK OF MANNERS AND BREEDING. Just sayin'...), Sarah Palin (she's like dog-doo on the bottom of the Republican party's shoe -- just when they think they've scraped her off onto the curb, her stench makes her presence known), and I think I stopped -- realizing I now had a post inching toward 1500 words -- just short of attacking (God forgive me) Paul McArtney (Please, Paul. Let us keep our memories of four talented Beatles...).


I've just saved you a boat load of time.