Archive for December, 2007

That week between Christmas and New Year’s

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

It’s about 8:30, and Robin and Hannah are still in bed.  So I’m having a cup of tea and thinking about what I need to do today.  Fortunately our friends Don and Janet are coming over for dinner, giving me some tasks for the day (clean up living room, cook dinner).  This helps distract me from being post-Christmas depressed.

We normally leave the Christmas tree up until New Year’s day — it makes sense, since we don’t usually get a tree until pretty late, around the 20th or so.  I have a rule that if the tree is up and I’m in the room, the lights on it must be turned on.  Otherwise it looks forlorn, especially after the gifts are gone.

Cabell got back to Madison safely; Hannah’s here until the 31st.  I just sent an email to Sophie, but she seems to get in touch maybe once a week, so I don’t expect to hear anything soon.
Meanwhile, I just got a new stem for my touring bike that raises the handlebars by a couple of inches, putting me in a more upright position.  Bad for wind resistance, but I think better for my back — and for that matter, I’m wondering if being bent way over for many hours didn’t cause the blood clots this summer.   It’s supposed to be sunny later today, and I plan to take the bike out and try the new arrangement, maybe do some adjustments.  More keeping busy.   I think I need to go back to work.

Duh.

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The fourth most popular group in the Southeast Missouri State U. facebook network is “Amazing New Way to Lower Gas Prices!“   It’s a group devoted to this idiotic gas boycott idea — and someone has even posted a link in the group to the Snopes.com explanation of why it won’t work.  Gas is fungible — it’s a commodity.  It doesn’t matter where you buy it.  Less sold at Exxon means more sold at Murphy’s or wherever, and the price stays the same.

We have a business college at Southeast, and many people take economics even when they aren’t business majors.  Apparently most of them missed the part where they said that prices respond to supply and demand.  You want lower gas prices?  Don’t use as much gas.   Here’s an idea: ride a bike.

Christmas 2007

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Well, here we are shortly after opening our stockings — we all got rainbow glasses.

Christmas with rainbow goggles

And here’s Christmas morning viewed through the rainbow glasses:

Christmas through the rainbow goggles

In the afternoon, as always, we went to the Lillys’ house for dinner.

Dinner at the Lillys'

I made roast stuffed pork loin with apple-cranberry chutney. Diana made bread and twice-baked potatoes and broccoli and appetizers. And for dessert we had apple/cranberry pie, cherry pie, fudge, two kinds of cookies, and fat-free sugar-free chocolate cream pie. I was too full to eat any dessert, but we brought plenty home.

All in all, a merry Christmas, although we missed Sophie, who is still in Costa Rica. As is my habit at this time of year, I kept having little mini-panic-attacks all day. Especially at big family occasions, I start to think about all the past holidays when the girls were little,

Hannah with her stocking Sophie gets a cat bookCabell in her new clothes

And then I get this tight feeling in my chest and short of breath and kind of weepy.  It doesn’t make any sense; I’m having a good time with them now, and we had lots of good times before, but it hits me that way anyway.  I guess because they’re only little once, and holidays make it so clear that, while we try to repeat things with ritual, they always change anyway.  Okay, enough of me being a drag.  I hide it by keeping busy and trying to have fun now.

So, I hope everyone had a merry Christmas, and here’s wishing us all a happy new year.

Habemus Christmas Tree

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Well, it’s only 8 feet tall, but it’s very nicely shaped.  And as a special bonus, it only took one person to pull it in through the front door.   Cabell chose it, so she can’t complain about it being puny.  No doubt Hannah will, though.

Cabell arrives

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Cabell’s train was an hour late, so we didn’t get home until about 3 AM.  Cabell has a sore throat, but I doubt it’s strep.  She’s not running a fever.  I gave her some throat lozenges, and now we’re going out to get a Christmas tree.  More on this later.

The Christmas Saga Continues

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Hannah called this afternoon to say that her flight was canceled, and she can’t get out of Boston until Saturday.  Cabell is coming into St. Louis tonight, but she thinks that her sore throat is actually strep, and can we get her a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  Oh, well.

This weather sucks

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

I shouldn’t complain.  We have electricity, and there’s no difficulty driving anywhere.  But it’s been raining almost nonstop for a week, and the temperature continues to hover right around freezing.  Add to that the cold that I have, and it’s not very pleasant.

On the plus side, I’ve got all my exams and papers graded.

Oh, and I was going to look for a Christmas tree today, but I’m just not up to it in the “wintry mix” weather.  Maybe Monday, when it’s supposed to clear up.

In this fast-paced world of today in which we live

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

I was looking in Wikipedia at the list of religious affiliations of presidents, mainly to see how many were Unitarian — 4, indisputably (Adams, Adams, Millard Fillmore, and Taft), although some others leaned that way — and found this tidbit about Taft, who was president from 1909 to 1913:

Before becoming president, Taft was offered the presidency of Yale University, at that time affiliated with the Congregationalist Church; Taft turned the post down, saying that he could not in good conscience accept it because he “did not believe in the divinity of Christ.” (See 1912, James Chace, page 24.)

We constantly hear how our current decline of faith is responsible for terrorist attacks, hurricanes, AIDS, and American Idol, but can anyone imagine any candidate from either party being elected in 2008 after making such a statement?

Yes, I have electricity

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

In case anyone is watching the news and wondering, all the ice is in northern Missouri, and we’ve have about a week of cold rain.  I’m a little grouchy because I haven’t been out on my bike for several days, and the driveway has a good-sized pond in the middle of it, but there’s no ice and we have electrical power, etc. 

Accolades

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Tonight was the second (and final) performance of Handel’s Messiah at the new River Campus.  I’ve sung in the university’s Choral Union off and on for about 15 years, but this semester was our first in the new auditorium.  It’s acoustically stunning.  Sure, Messiah is overdone, but it was still a pretty damn good performance.

I ran into someone I know afterward who said without a trace of irony that he could hear me over all the rest.   Aaarrghh.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t exactly what I always said to Sophie after choral performances, with quite a few traces of irony.