Monday, December 20, 2004

Freakin' Sweet

The first package opening of the Christmas season occurred Saturday at the 2nd Annual Fleece Navidad Party at M. Schaeffer's house. The generousity of all was abundant and my family thanks everyone for their kindness.

I got the Brian (dog from Family Guy) action figure I shamelessly asked for in an earlier blog thanks to Sarah.

Seth made it possible for me to find that "mot juste" with his gifts of etymological compendiums. I have never been accused of possessing a paucity in the vocabulary department. However, the next time I wish to vociferate or pontificate with my coterie, even though I am no polyglot, I shall be able to regale them well, much to their delectation. Maybe this skill will one day lead to true autarky. I do hope I don't sound too supercilious.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What do you Want for Christmas?

A common question this time of year is "What do you want for Christmas?" When I was a kid I had no trouble coming up with quite a long list. (Did anyone else out there ask for "Calisto" the alien buddy of intrepid space adventurer Major Matt Mason?) I was lucky enough that my parents were in a situation and of the dispostition to give me more than a reasonable amount of what I asked Santa to bring me.

Now, as forty-two year old father of three my listmaking is not anywhere near what it used to be. It is not that I don't desire stuff. (See the previous blog entry "Materialistic Bastard") I have gotten to a point in my life that "stuff" isn't as important. The desire is not for the particular "most wanted item" (Red Ryder BB gun etc.) I like gifts that have meaning in relation to the person giving them.

Whenever my kids asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year they added the describing phrase "that we can wrap and put under the tree." Below is the list of what I would like that cannot be wrapped up and put under the tree. After you read the first couple you will understand why my kids said what they said.
  1. Children that do not fight with each other
  2. Children that keep their rooms somewhat clean
  3. Time to spend with my family - alone time with my wife
  4. Time to spend with my friends
  5. Time to do the creative things I enjoy
  6. The dream of Imum Pancy comes to reality
  7. A league championship for the Legend

There are only nine shopping days until Christmas. If you can do something about the above list I would greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Stories and the people who tell them

I have always enjoyed good story tellers. I also aspire to be one. There are times I feel like the Salieri of storytellers. I am able to recognize greatness, but seem unable to create it myself. Now before Seth gets onto me for my usual self-denigrating way, I am good. I have written very good things from time to time, but I lack consistancy and the nebulous quality that puts me into the great category.

I don't want to write the great American novel. Deep literature doesn't interest me very much. I like stories. Snippets of life that make the reader laugh, feel pride, even the ones that make you tear up a bit. I do not subscribe to what I call the "Oprah Disease." This is a malady where the only great literature must be immensely sad. The abused wife suffering from Tourette's Syndrome finds an autistic child on her doorstep...(arrggghhh!) Look at a list of the Oprah Book Club and nearly all of them have a "depression factor" beyond standing on the scale after three weeks of intense physical labor to find you gained 7 pounds.

Someone who excels at capturing simple life in a wonderful way is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star. Joe Posnanski knows how to write a story. Recently the powers that be at the paper have realized his talents and he has branched out to write about more than sports. He still writes about sports, but he diverts to other topics more often now. He writes about humanity in a way that makes you glad you still have a membership card to the human race.

If you want to read some of his stuff:

Monday, December 06, 2004

Windmills and a Windbag

Hmmm... what to write about today.

The latest windwill I tilted at was not one for publication. I used to go on Quixotic quests with great regularity when I was a teacher. There are ample opportunities for righteous indignation when working in education. The "windmills" won entirely too many of the battles, which was probably one of the reasons I now work for a basketball team.

I still have the deisre to fight the good fight. It is just the opportunites are fewer and I have less direct contact.

Beware: Change of topic without benefit of segue...

I have added radio sports broadcasting to my resume in the last year. It was an expectaion of the job with the Legend. It has since branched out to include high school sports in the fall and winter. I enjoy it quite a bit. The hardest part is not saying the bloody obvious over and over again. ("I think the team that will score the most points before the clock runs out will win." was a quote I heard a broadcaster say once.)I just hope to throw in occasional jokes and arcane references to make it enjoyable for the few people listening.

Talking for four hours solid brings on a whole different kind of fatigue than anything else I have done.

Note to would be broadcasters: Do not eat anything before the game that will cause indigestion - squelching a belch while calling a fast break is damn near impossible.