Friday, December 15, 2017

The Christmas Song

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost ripping at your nose
Chorus of screams being sung by a choir
And things dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a sacrifice in the dark
Will help to make the pyres bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will chase us down the streets tonight

They know that doom is on its way
It's coming for us all and they want to slay

And every mother's child is going to cry
To see horrible things drifting up in the sky

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
a protection spell just for you,
Though its been said many times, many ways
There's nothing else that we can do.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Music: Baby It's Cold Outside

A newer, less rapey-sounding version, courtesy of Abney Park:

"What's in this drink?"
"Rum."
Indeed...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Holiday Season

Today is... Tuesday? Is it Tuesday? It is. Good.

I kind of hate the holiday season.

It's not the holidays themselves, exactly. It's the way they inevitably seem to disrupt, well, everything. Add to that the fact that my wife is finishing up her grading for this semester (and needs to have it finished, I don't know, right now) and is going to have both boys home during the time that she needs to be planning her upcoming semester, and...

We almost missed gymnastics class last night. It's Mondays and Wednesdays every week; not that hard to remember. But we almost forgot, because there's so much else going on right now. We're trying to get the boys caught up on their homework (they're both behind) and make sure Firstborn is still practicing the upright bass. Oh, and I need to practice a 2-3 minute presentation on a book with him tonight.

I like having a regular schedule, and this time of year it always seems to just fall apart. And that would be great if I could stop and relax, but that isn't how this works. I still have to be at work, plus we have the various family events, and honestly I just want to huddle in bed with my Kindle and cup of hot chocolate.

So... I dunno. You can probably take this for generalized grumbling/griping and ignore it, and honestly I'd probably feel a lot less discombobulated if I could manage to get a full night's sleep, but here we are.

Monday, December 11, 2017

I dreamed of my mom last night...

Well, like the title says, I dreamed of my mom last night. It was a weird night anyway - I went to bed later than I really should have on a Sunday, and then my sleep got interrupted a couple of times. This last time, my sleep had been interrupted by the alarm clock, but I'd hit the Snooze button and was back to dreaming. And somewhere in those few minutes, in a jumble of dreams about finding a place to stay and getting my stuff together for a trip, my mom was moving through one of the rooms I was crossing.

It's the first time I've really dreamed of her since she died (April of 2016, so we're coming up on two years now) or at least it feels like it. The first time I'd dreamed of her as her, rather than just as an element of something else.

Anyway, she was crossing the room in her slow, steady way (with the crutches and braces from childhood polio) just like she always did, so I stopped to give her a hug. And it was right in the middle of that that I realized that I had to be dreaming because there was no way she was there like that, and sure enough the alarm went off again a moment later.

It was very strange, but for a moment it was kind of nice.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Six Flags, Seven Years Old

Right, so: Six Flags. Firstborn's Middle School decided to do their Orchestra field trip to Six Flags today. Beautiful Wife went along as a chaperone, and it seemed like something that Secondborn really shouldn't miss out on. So, I bought us a couple of extra tickets and drove Secondborn down separately.

We were able to meet them just inside the park, and hooked up with the orchestra group just inside the gate. It turns out that both the band and the chorus had come along on the trip, so this was around a hundred kids all told. Beautiful Wife led her ducklings group to the meetup point, and then they broke up to wander the park separately. (It's a whole new world: these kids all have cell phones. Well, except for Firstborn. But otherwise? Pretty much all of them.)

Anyway, deciding to bring Secondborn along was just about the best decision I could possibly have made. That child...

Okay, look: he's seven. He's silly. He does handstands everywhere. And apparently he, um, "dabs". (I had to look it up. I knew it was a strike-a-pose gesture for him, but I'm old and I have no context.)

So that's him, dabbin' while we're waiting in line for the Mine Train. Anyway, this kid: over the course of the day, he worked his way up from the Mine Train -- a relatively slow, slightly clunky beginner roller coaster which is mainly exciting for a couple of moments when it goes whizzing underground into the dark -- and made it all the way to a ride on Pandemonium. I'm borrowing other people's YouTube videos, because there's no way I was taking my cell phone out on a ride, but that link really doesn't do the thing justice: Pandemonium is a roller coaster in which the chairs spin around on top as the car travels along the track. And with me on one end of the rotating seats, they spun around a lot.

And when we got to the end of the ride, Secondborn just said: "That was horrible. We must never do that again." But he was grinning madly while he said it.

Firstborn's friend loves this stuff. He was the one who kept nudging our boys towards bigger, faster, swooshier roller coasters. But Firstborn is practicing his quiet cool, and he kept up just fine. Firstborn's eleven years old though; I'm not surprised that he just went with it. Secondborn, on the other hand, is seven - he couldn't have ridden Pandemonium without a parent, and there was another ride (some sort of spinning bull rodeo thing, later) that he was just exactly tall enough to be able to ride. Like, the top of his head was exactly at the line where he could ride it. And while this isn't quite his first time on any sort of roller coaster, it's pretty close.

So all things considered: I'm extraordinarily pleased with the way our day went, and I'm ferociously proud of Secondborn for riding some reasonably insane things with me, Firstborn, and Firstborn's friend.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Music: Lovecraftian Christmas Songs

Since we're nearing the holidays, and I've been too tired (and probably sick) to write anything, here's a playlist of songs from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Crud

Yep, the Christmas Crud got me again. It started last week, just in time for the training session. And I keep thinking I've mostly shaken it off, but... not quite. So... more rest, more liquids, more stopping when I run out of energy. Ugh.

I've done very little writing, and nothing for the blog (obviously). I finished reading a solidly enjoyable new fantasy novel - Age of Assassins - but instead of starting something else new, I've gone back to Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me. It's fun, it's got cheery dialogue, and everything turns out all right in the end: just what I need right now. (Age of Assassins was a bit darker, but it was fun and adventurous and I'd recommend it too, just for different reasons.)

Meanwhile: my job is full of work, our departmental transitions are still bobbing along like icebergs in a choppy sea, the holidays are rushing towards us like an avalanche, and my workplace is full of Christmas music. Also, it's still warm enough that I don't need a jacket. All in all? Pretty much what I expect from early December in Texas. Yes, including the plague.

How're the rest of you holding up? Any humorous NaNoWriMo stories you want to share?