YULE!

Dec. 26th, 2011 09:25 pm
athelind: (Default)
Your Obedient Serpent flew his mother and stepfather up for the holidays. They're currently staying with his sister.

A very pleasant holiday was had, and festive viruses passed around. Yes, I've caught my mother's cold, and it's settling in very nicely, thank you.

Hopefully, it will have run its course ere week's end and the parental return to desert climes; at some as-yet-unspecified time, the clan is going on a cruise out the Golden Gate to the Farallons. 90 minutes at sea in December isn't much by Coast Guard standards, but it's been many a decade since I could lay claim to that banner.

Yule is passed, however, and today is known in some demesnes as "Boxing Day", so I should wish you all tidings appropriate to the occasion:




athelind: (veteran)
A remembrance to the veterans, to the Armistice, and to everlasting peace and an end to war.

And a nod to the date and time.


athelind: (YAY)
After all these years, I understand the true meaning of this holiday.

I can look past the faux patriotism, the attempts at historical relevance, past Valley Forge and Gettysberg and the collision of two different chief executives from two very different historical eras.

I now understand what this day means to other people, and it has, for me, a deeply personal significance:

I have today off.
And I'm getting paid for it.


I think this is the first paid holiday I've had since I got out of the Coast Guard in 1990.

I've been paid on holidays, but it's usually because I've been working. This suited me just fine in the Coast Guard; I'd volunteer to take the duty shift on Thanksgiving and Christmas, since I didn't have any local family, and many of my fellow Coasties Puddle Pirates "Guardians" did. .

At the hospital, I continued my Coast Guard tradition. While my parents lived in the area, and, in fact, my stepfather worked in the same department I did, we officially Didn't Do Christmas. The sole extent of our celebration of the day was to have dinner together—and since Tri-City had an exceptional cafeteria that belied the hoary stand-up comic tropes about "hospital food", we had more than one "Christmas dinner" downstairs on my lunch hour.

Time-and-a-half was a fine Christmas Present—but it wasn't the same as a paid holiday.

Student workers in university jobs generally don't get holiday pay. Neither do most temp workers, or "short-term consultants*".

At Legends, of course, holidays are just a Slightly Busier Day, typified by customers constantly asking why we don't have a sale going on. Once or twice, as an experiment, Da Boss has had us open up on a holiday when most of the rest of the mall was technically closed, to see if we could catch some overflow business from the never-say-closed movie theater.

... damn. I have today off. I can finish laundry. I can work on the DC Adventures game I'm going to run. I can spend a couple of hours reading the last two months of comics that I finally picked up at my old job yesterday ("I'll clear out my box as soon as I get my first paycheck!"). I can do my taxes.

And I can do it all without feeling guilty for spending time I should be using to look for work.


* [SEMANTIC ANALYZER: "Short-Term Consultant" = "We don't want to pay an agency's commission fee for a temp."]
athelind: (funny)
I was so happy to wake up this morning, look at the date on my computer, and realize that, finally, it was February 3rd!

It's like I spent the last seven years having to relive the same mistakes, over and over, until I finally got things right!

Thank the gods that's over.

On to all new mistakes!


athelind: (canned hate)

(Click Here
or refresh if you can't see the comic.)



From [livejournal.com profile] headtripcomics via [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte. Thanks and thanks!
athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
And so, another year ends, and Your Obedient Serpent will be more than happy to be shed of this one. I bid 2010 adieu with two upraised middle fingers and a shout of defiance.

It's time to face forward.

I've mentioned that sometimes, the radio talks to me, that the station I most often tune to has a tendency to play certain songs over and over again, and sometimes, the songs that cycle into that repetitious rotation are ones that directly address my moods and circumstances.

Back in November, as I was preparing to move a lifetime of belongings out of [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, this one played nearly every day.

I was going to post it tomorrow, but it played again, just minutes ago.

This, then, is my New Year: No Resolutions, Just Resolve.

I've got a world and a life and a future in front of me.

And it's mine.






I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams ... )

Happy New Year, one and all!

athelind: (hope)
The solstice has come around again, as it does every season.

The darkness has grown over the last six months, and for some, it weighs heavy on the soul.






If I never loved, I never would have cried. ... )


This year, the Longest Night brings with it a fleeting extra shadow—but even shadows bear beauty and promise.

For those lucky enough to have clear skies tonight, you'll be treated to the first Solstice Eclipse in 456 years.

And after this long night brings tomorrow's distant dawn, the light will come again.

The spring will come again.






It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance ... )


A Joyful Solstice to you all!

May all the gifts of Blessing, Renewal and Redemption find their way to you in the coming year.

Remember, no matter how dark and cold and long the winter night might seem ...

There will always come a spring.


athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)
One of my co-workers brought in a CD of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's A Very Scary Solstice.

I found that it works best if you play it just low enough that listeners can identify the jolly holiday tunes, but can't quite hear the lyrics.

Of course, since I mentioned these songs, I have to link to the music videos for two of them:







athelind: (no help whatsoever)
For those who think you're sick of Christmas Carols:

I work in a mall.



And this time of year, on the nights that they don't have one badly out-of-tune local chorus or another, they feel the need to fire up their usually-dormant PA-Muzak system and pump the mall full of Holiday Cheer at volumes that, alas, drowns out our store's poor, feeble stereo.

I think they have, at most, three CDs of carols, each of which only has three songs, because any given night, it seems like I keep hearing a given song over and over and over and over. It's a different song every day, but ... yeah, "Little Drummer Boy" is the worst. It seems to play non-stop on the nights it plays at all.

There's also a cover of "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch", where the vocalist is a female tenor. That's just wrong. If you can't at least make a stab at imitating Thurl Ravenscroft, do not attempt this song.

To my own surprise, I do a pretty decent Thurl Ravenscroft. I only discovered this in the last week, as [livejournal.com profile] the_gneech and some others started posting "additional verses" to "Mister Grinch".)

Please note that I don't hate Christmas music in general. I hate badly-performed music, and repetitive music, but by and large, I find Christmas music catchy enough that I'll often absent-mindedly sing along.

I have to watch myself, though, because the lyrics I learned in grade school aren't always ... standard.






Chipmunks roasting on an open fire ... )

I have no idea where I first heard this, but in junior high, everyone else heard it from me. One year, with a suitable edit to that last line, the school Madrigals actually performed these lyrics in the holiday pageant, and got a standing ovation.

athelind: (YAY)
... to all of our friends North of the Border!

Three cheers for the Red, White, and ... uh ... more Red!


athelind: (hoard potato)
You know, there's something both tacky and amusing about DC Comics wrapping up their big, year-long crossover about Death and Resurrection just in time for Easter.




athelind: (facepalm)
It's a law of the internet: any mention of a holiday always gets at least one reply asserting that the respondent pays no attention to that holiday, and why.

The response demonstrates that the respondent, in that alleged disregard, pays more attention to the holiday than do those who might observe it casually, and feel no need to comment.

That said, this is the first day of Lent -- a ritual I observe only in the most secular way -- and thus, I bid you all the appropriate tidings for Ash Wednesday.


athelind: (Default)
It's a law of the internet: any mention of a holiday always gets at least one reply asserting that the respondent pays no attention to that holiday, and why.

The response demonstrates that the respondent, in that alleged disregard, pays more attention to the holiday than do those who might observe it casually, and feel no need to comment.

That said, this is the first day of Lent -- a ritual I observe only in the most secular way -- and thus, I bid you all the appropriate tidings for Ash Wednesday.


athelind: (food)

Gung Hay Fat Tuesday!



… President Valentine … ?

For Lent this year, I think I have to give up procrastinating.

I will, of course, start tomorrow.


athelind: (Default)

Gung Hay Fat Tuesday!



… President Valentine … ?

For Lent this year, I think I have to give up procrastinating.

I will, of course, start tomorrow.


athelind: (Default)
After sleeping in far too late yesterday, I went to bed earlyish last night, determined to roll out of bed at a decent hour, hop in the shower, and fire up the computer for the usual rounds of email and job boards.

I did indeed wake up around 7-ish, looked at the clock -- and, rather than blurry LED numerals, saw nothing. The power was out.

No Net. No TV. No lights in the bathroom.

I wound up going back to bed until 8:45, then taking a shower by candlelight.

(I do so love bathrooms in candlelight.)

Needless to say, the power came back five minutes after I got out of the shower.

It was only a few minutes ago that I realized that it was the Second of February, and that I had gotten up, seen my shadow, and gone back into my hole.

Looks like six more weeks of winter, from here.


More water-themed dreams last night; how much of them were due to the sound of rain outside, I can't tell. Not the usual crystal-clear water, this time; in this one, the nearby creek actually ran through the backyard. The usual gang of Generic Dream Friends and I were looking it over. The water was higher than usual; I noticed that conditions were exactly right for a flash flood, and suggested that we should get back over the creek and into the house. Of course, everyone blew me off, right up until the big muddy rush of water hit.

For some reason, I was wearing robes of some sort, as was at least one of the others.

athelind: (Default)
After sleeping in far too late yesterday, I went to bed earlyish last night, determined to roll out of bed at a decent hour, hop in the shower, and fire up the computer for the usual rounds of email and job boards.

I did indeed wake up around 7-ish, looked at the clock -- and, rather than blurry LED numerals, saw nothing. The power was out.

No Net. No TV. No lights in the bathroom.

I wound up going back to bed until 8:45, then taking a shower by candlelight.

(I do so love bathrooms in candlelight.)

Needless to say, the power came back five minutes after I got out of the shower.

It was only a few minutes ago that I realized that it was the Second of February, and that I had gotten up, seen my shadow, and gone back into my hole.

Looks like six more weeks of winter, from here.


More water-themed dreams last night; how much of them were due to the sound of rain outside, I can't tell. Not the usual crystal-clear water, this time; in this one, the nearby creek actually ran through the backyard. The usual gang of Generic Dream Friends and I were looking it over. The water was higher than usual; I noticed that conditions were exactly right for a flash flood, and suggested that we should get back over the creek and into the house. Of course, everyone blew me off, right up until the big muddy rush of water hit.

For some reason, I was wearing robes of some sort, as was at least one of the others.

athelind: (hope)
I had a very pleasant Christmas with my family.

I got dress shirts and a splendid tie! They're wonderful -- my sister managed to guess my size from memory better than Quel and I have ever managed with me standing right there (XL, size 17 collar).

Dinner was excellent -- scallops something-or-other over pasta. And, of course, a wide range of alcohol.

Most of the day was spent introducing my stepfather to the wonders of YouTube as a source for music and film footage of old stars; he's a serious jazz aficionado, and kept coming up with more and more obscure performers to hunt down. The only times we couldn't find anything were when the performers in question had names identical to some other individual, more recent or better-known -- a very short-lived ensemble called "Matrix" was a good example.

We also watched a few seasonal treats, as well, including this duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie; Bowie's lyrics have, to me, always captured what this time of year really means, and why my family of atheists, agnostics and pagans still celebrate Christmas -- it's not the religious aspect, but the mythic.







I departed around 19:30, though I was invited to stay another night. I probably should have; yes, I work tomorrow, but not until 14:00. Ah, well. Second thoughts are better served at the other end of a 50-mile drive.

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope you had the best of the good and none of the bad.

Peace be with you, and with us all.

athelind: (Default)
I had a very pleasant Christmas with my family.

I got dress shirts and a splendid tie! They're wonderful -- my sister managed to guess my size from memory better than Quel and I have ever managed with me standing right there (XL, size 17 collar).

Dinner was excellent -- scallops something-or-other over pasta. And, of course, a wide range of alcohol.

Most of the day was spent introducing my stepfather to the wonders of YouTube as a source for music and film footage of old stars; he's a serious jazz aficionado, and kept coming up with more and more obscure performers to hunt down. The only times we couldn't find anything were when the performers in question had names identical to some other individual, more recent or better-known -- a very short-lived ensemble called "Matrix" was a good example.

We also watched a few seasonal treats, as well, including this duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie; Bowie's lyrics have, to me, always captured what this time of year really means, and why my family of atheists, agnostics and pagans still celebrate Christmas -- it's not the religious aspect, but the mythic.







I departed around 19:30, though I was invited to stay another night. I probably should have; yes, I work tomorrow, but not until 14:00. Ah, well. Second thoughts are better served at the other end of a 50-mile drive.

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope you had the best of the good and none of the bad.

Peace be with you, and with us all.

athelind: (Default)
I'm here in Berkeley, at my sister's place. My folks are here. This is the first time we've all been together for the holidays since -- 1982, at least, when my grandmother died right after I went off to college. My middle sister isn't here, but, still, with two of the three of us, it's a quorum.

Stopped off at [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's place before work tonight, just to say hello to everyone who's crashing THERE for the holiday.

This is our first Christmas apart since we were married.

I miss you, beloved. Merry Christmas.

And to all our friends: don't worry about us. We'll work through this. Have a happy holiday, and blessed be.


athelind: (Default)
I'm here in Berkeley, at my sister's place. My folks are here. This is the first time we've all been together for the holidays since -- 1982, at least, when my grandmother died right after I went off to college. My middle sister isn't here, but, still, with two of the three of us, it's a quorum.

Stopped off at [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's place before work tonight, just to say hello to everyone who's crashing THERE for the holiday.

This is our first Christmas apart since we were married.

I miss you, beloved. Merry Christmas.

And to all our friends: don't worry about us. We'll work through this. Have a happy holiday, and blessed be.


athelind: (green hills of earth)
A year ago today, I did something I rarely do: I wrote down an explicit list of New Year's Resolutions. The other half of that tradition, of course, is to sit down at year's end and evaluate my progress.

2008 Report Card )

2009 Resolutions )
athelind: (Default)
A year ago today, I did something I rarely do: I wrote down an explicit list of New Year's Resolutions. The other half of that tradition, of course, is to sit down at year's end and evaluate my progress.

2008 Report Card )

2009 Resolutions )
athelind: (Howitzer)


...I think a lot of us would cheerfully do that to 2008.

Here's looking forward to 2009... though that won't really begin until January 20th.

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