Saturday, December 31, 2011

Questions For 2012

With only hours to spare before the new year bustles its way in, I have some questions I'd like to ask of 2012:

Why must this clean slate you offer commence in the dead of winter when I am fat and hairy like the drooling bear asleep in its lair? (Please note, I am not drooling, only fat and hairy.)

If pitted against each other in a cosmic battle, who would win? Old Man Winter, Father Time or the diapered new year baby?

How long will it take me to stop writing 2011 on checks and important documents?

What as-yet-undiscovered music will delight me this year?

How many books will I read?

Will I succumb to the Meatball craze?

Is this going to be the year in which I learn to stop being so reactive?


Should I get off Facebook and switch to Google+?

Is there an Ipad in my future?

What new technologies will emerge to dazzle and nauseate me?

Will 2012 be the year I begin tweeting?

Will I Skype, Swype or Tumble?

Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?

Will I keep the wolves at bay?

Will my endless search for the perfect chai tea bag finally be fulfilled?

How many loved ones' birthdays will I manage to remember? For more than two seconds?

Will I finally gain the respect of my peers?

Will I discover muscles I didn't know I had?

Are you listening to anything I just said?

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30th

December 30th. The day has kind of a shifty quailty that I like. It barely belongs to 2011, but it's not part of 2012 yet either. And so it affords me the pleasant illusion of existing outside of time. For a few hours, anyway. It's like living on a borderland and being at liberty to cross back and forth without declaring my loyalty to one year or the other. I can turn my nose up at 2011--been there, done that--while smugly holding 2012 at arm's length.

 Feeling exempt from time, I can ignore its laws and ravages.I don't age on this day. Nothing in my possession degrades. All is suspended. I am not accountable to anything. Everyone should know this.  The e-mail I received as cookie mom, from another mom in our Girl Scout troop, asking for two boxes of Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, was sent without strategy or planning for circumventing this day. Is it my fault that her e-mail will drop into the void of this non-day, un-answered? As for the violin shop, could it reasonably expect to collect its viola rental fee on such a sliver of a due date as the 30th, squashed as it is between the massive shoulders of two full-blown years? I should say it couldn't.

However, the mail man, prosaic laborer that he is, unaware of the metaphysical loopholes that abound on this day, brings me my mail just as routinely as he has done all year. I am not particularly pleased with his reliability, nor with the cher-klunk sound inside my mail box as he drops a mess of time-sensitive bundles into it. I hide myself until he is heading solidly down my driveway and his back is turned, at which point I stand before the window and glare at him. Why does he insist on these deliveries? Who can receive bills and overdue notices on such a day?!

Not me! I am un-girded by time. I shall not be fettered!

But wait---while quickly rifling through the bundle -- is that a paycheck from my employer I see? Conveniently mailed to my home because the college is closed for the winter break? Yes it is. Well then --Straight away to the bank, before it closes! There is not a moment to lose!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Burl Protesters Disrupt Holiday Festivities

Burl Ives and his alter ego, the Talking Snowman

Peaksville, MD – A beloved holiday tradition turned ugly in Peaksville, Maryland when local pro-Burl and anti-Burl factions clashed at the annual Tree n' Tunes event Friday evening.

The unrest started when members of the Burl Ives My Ass Coalition (BIMAC) allegedly shouted obscenities as the Burl Ives song "Snow for Johnny" played in the town square where the Tree n' Tunes event was in progress. Members of Burl's Legacy Is Treasured, Honored and Enduring (BLITHE), responded by hurling "Burl bombs"- Christmas tree ornaments with Burl's image glued onto them --- into the crowd of demonstrators.

A spokesperson for BLITHE denied that the group came armed to the event. "We brought those ornaments to hand out free to the crowd, to spread good Burly Christmas cheer to our fellow man. And woman," said Vera Clapper.  Maybe a few of our members got carried away, but who can blame them? Those BIMACers have real potty-mouths. I mean, there were children present."

Dave Shivers, a member of BIMAC , denied that his group had used strong language in their protest. "Those pansy-ass Burl Lovers are *&$%*  liars. And they're a bunch of Marys. Well, as far as I'm concerned, "Burl" is a curse word." Shivers said that BIMAC was still upset about the Burl Pride parade that BLITHE staged the previous year, and that hearing the tweedling strains of Burl's voice on "Snow for Johnny" had caused some individuals to cry out in a wounded manner that had been mistaken for swearing.

Authorities say that the longstanding friction between the two groups has been fueled by internet sites like Facebook and Twitter.

"It's all this younger generation and their fast social medias, their tweetin' and tumblin," said Dan Hardcovers, Peaksville Chief of Police. "Now everybody's a rabble-rouser. We never used to have this sort of trouble in Peaksville. Folks got along."

Hardcovers said that security concerns have led his department to start monitoring tweets. "It's easy to see where people fall on the Burl issue. When we see hashtags like #BurlBlowz and  #Burlmakesmehurl, we know it's a BIMAC. The BLITHE people are more apt to use tags like #HollyJolly or #Burl4Ever or #JesBurl." 

Hardcovers said his department is investigating other incidents that seem to be Burl-related. Area nativity scenes have been beset by vandals who have re-arranged or even stolen the manger figures, and Hardcovers said there is a clear pattern. "Members of BIMAC say someone's taking their Three Wise Men and leaving them a miniature Talking Snowman in its place. And the BLITHE folk---well....someone's swiping their baby Jesusus." Hardcover blames technology.

"There have been some sore feelings in our town over this Burl thing for some time now and people have got their pride hurt and even come to blows over it. But now... it's getting ugly. I guess we have that Jobs guy to thank for that."

For more on Burl Ives see: 

Burl's Pearl's ---Burl Ives' Surprising Oeuvre  

Burl Ives Event Stirs Trouble Anew in Small Maryland Town

Burl Ives Debate Erupts, Dividing Town