Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wow! Saddam has been executed. That was far quicker than I thought it would be. To be fair, he didn't crumble at the end. The guy was evil by any measure, but that doesn't mean he would be simple to understand. How does someone justify to themselves what he had done? By every account, his kids (the psychopaths) and grandkids (not so much) describe him as an excellent father and grandfather. How can this be? How can a person perpetrate such evil and then go home and bounce the kids on his knee? Is that massive rationalization, or is evil so innate to man that we can section it off like an orange? The latter, I suppose.

Gives one chills...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Senator Siplin, who for some reason is still in office (don't ask me why), is sponsoring a bill to make it legal for felons who have served their sentence to be able to vote again. Self interest on his own felonious self, or just a good idea?

Maybe both. Recitivism aside, large segments of poor communities are peopled by ex-felons, and in a few, overwhelmingly peopled. Between illegal aliens (who shouldn't have the right to vote ever) and felons, poor communities - who most need a voice - don't have a legislative voice. I'm not sure what the fear is for ex-felons voting; do they have an agenda that we don't? I'd think those that do wouldn't vote anyway.

They've served their sentences, so give them back the ability to vote.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas is an amazing time. Nothing blunts the spirit. Not the year I was whipping up our traditional enough-food-to-feed-a-third-world-nation breakfast, and as I was cooking, the kids start throwing up, then Lynette follows, leaving me the sole person able to eat this monstrous breakfast... that was 2003, and it was still a good Christmas (even the rest of the family enjoyed it once they felt a little better).

This year we spent the day at SeaWorld... well, part of the day. It began to rain and even our rain slickers didn't keep the wet off. Still, we had a great time, came home and made a fire and played the game of Life while pigging out (a Christmas constant). The kids said "this was the best Christmas EVER" like they do every Christmas.

The secret to that overwhelming spirit of Christmas is, of course, no matter how much goes "wrong," no matter what tragedy befalls us, we start from such a high platform of blessing that any response other than "best ever" is an exercise in futility. Imagine the most prolific blizzard ever, snow drifting to continental levels... that's our level of blessing.

Christmas, the commemoration of the blessing of all blessings, the babe in a manger, is also a reminder to look back and forward and exult in our God's goodness and mercy.

"Embarrassment of riches" is one way to say it, but that embarrassment forgets that these blessings aren't accidental happenstance, but intentional gifts from on high. That transforms embarrassment to wonder and awe, the proper response to every day, not just Christmas.

(Another blessing of Christmas, I forego my usual rants for gentle musings...)

Monday, December 18, 2006

As you age, your memory turns into swiss cheese (which isn't to say my brain has become holy, but holey). I'd forgotten my password, but really I'd forgotten my username, which is different than my screen name, which Lynette wants me to change because she doesn't do the blogger thing and feels the same way about blogging that I do about Christmas lights. (Anybody now how to change the screen name?)

So I'll be back to posting soon, I think.

Perhaps about Mannheim Steamroller, who puts on a GREAT concert and props to my in-laws for being unbelievably generous! What a fantastic night! All the kids want to play instruments now (and this big kid).

I've figured out why I like MS so much but not other Christmas music. Mannheim gets rid of the sentimental sappy stuff and fills it with innovation and power. I LOVE seeing talent infused with brilliance infused with passion.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Somebody explain body piercing to me, please.

Ear piercing is vaguely okay, I guess. Silly, but okay (though I think people with pierced ears can't complain about body piercings as "immoral" as some have. Ears or naval, what's the difference?).

Nose studs are simply disgusting. It's like a sparkly zit. Look, noses are necessary items, and a bad honker can be a real bummer for the owner, but really, noses aren't supposed to draw attention to themselves. A nose stud says "hey! Look at me! I produce snot and mucus, so can you imagine what the other side of this stud looks like?" And what happens when you sneeze? Does the person beside you suddenly get shot by a snotty stud? And when you have a cold, it's bad enough to have things running out of the two natural holes, why add a third?

Eyebrow rings or barbells anywhere: things that get crusty should not be impaled on your body. This applies to bellybutton rings, too. Exactly why do you want people looking at your midsection? Does naval jelly really need to be stapled in?

Tongue jewelry: I don't need this explained. I don't WANT this explained. It's a form of advertising I can do without.

Restaurant owners - have your servers remove all piercing jewelry before they come to work - accept maybe earring studs (there is a difference with ear studs. They don't draw attention to the ears unless only one is worn or it's really gaudy. They subtly frame the face and are therefore acceptable.) I, for one, find them grotesque and they put me off my feed... good for my flabby tummy, but not for your revenues.

Tattoos can be okay as long as they're subtle and out of the way, and if the wearer takes into account skin drift so they don't end up somewhere strange or misshapen. Big ones, multiple allbody ones or rude ones just advertise the wearer is shortsighted. Same rules for necklines should govern tattoos: think about where they draw the eye. "V" shaped tattoos point the eye down; if your sure you will always want people looking at your butt - even when you're fifty years old - then go ahead at your own risk. Tasteful tattoos of small size that will fit EVERY occasion that they are seen for the rest of your life are okay. I've seen a few that are quite pretty, normally ankle tats of a rose or other tasteful flowers. I saw a Tweety bird ankle tat at a formal meeting once that seemed inappropriate for the occasion, so choose wisely if you choose at all.

If you DID have a tattoo, what would it be? I once told my nephew that he should pick something that applies to him now and would always apply. At his age, I would have picked either a Superman symbol or a Comedy/Tragedy mask. Supes would be out of place too often, but the masks, if in a subtle shade on my shoulder would be cool. Even the changing size of my skin there could have an interesting effect. I'd probably do it if Lynette wouldn't mind, but she does so I won't. You?

Speaking of perspective, I put our Christmas lights up today. I do this for Lynette and the kids. Not sure what is missing in my DNA, but Christmas decorations are of no interest to me. It has nothing to do with them having little to do with the birth of Christ, or even that they consume kilowatt hours. I don't hate them, or love them. They exist in an emotional null state for me. Take 'em or leave 'em.

I can't even watch movies about outdoing the neighbors in lights and decorations. The motivation totally escapes me.

There are certain "Christmas" things I can't stand. Oversize plastic Nativity scenes. Eggnog (what the heck is that stuff?). Christmas songs on the radio (except for Manheim Steamroller - those guys ROCK). Fruitcake (but everybody does).

So while the entire neighborhood goes light-crazy, the only thing that moves me about it is confusion. Like I said, there's something missing in my DNA.

There is ONE Christmas decoration I think is amazingly beautiful. Snow. The real thing, not the Miami export. Seattle is packed with it. My family is enjoying (!) an unseasonal couple of feet of the white stuff.

Speaking of my family, we didn't have a lot of Christmas traditions. The most beloved is molasses popcorn balls. I'm afraid to eat them because I'm fond of keeping my teeth, but that says "CHRISTMAS" to me unlike anything that lights up (except my kid's faces Christmas morning. We're foregoing presents this year for SeaWorld annual passes, though, so they'll be beaming at Shamu instead of presents.)