That’s Enough for Now

Man, what a year. I can’t imagine anyone is very sad to see 2009 in the rearview mirror. Teabaggers, climate-change deniers, Balloon Boy, Octomom, vampires and zombies, Milton Bradley, Joe “Blow” Lieberman, and Wall Street bankers “doing God’s work”. Unemployment, foreclosures, swine flu, bankrupt companies, disappearing newspapers. “You Lie!” “Imo let you finish, but…” “Common sense solutions for America.” Yeesh, there might be something good to look back on, but I don’t have the stomach for it now.

And don’t even get me started on the whole previous decade. Everyone in the media with time on their hands has been asking what should be the standard way to refer to the past ten years–the aughts, the naughts, the Oh’s. I’d be satisfied calling it the “Double-Bunghole Decade” and leaving it at that.

So that’s enough for me. Vacation officially starts when I stop typing this and go make myself a cocktail. Our time off will be full of travel, but it should be the exhilarating kind. (How could Kalamazoo NOT be?) I just pray that the weather will be cooperative enough to only snow AFTER we’ve arrived at our various destinations.

While it’s been a busy week here, I still managed to write a pretty good Christmas story for my wife for 2009. It’s a tradition that goes back to before we were married. The first story I wrote for her, about a cabbie late at night in Chicago on Christmas Eve, is probably still my favorite. It also was the first thing I ever had published, by the now-departed Chicago Tribune Magazine. I still remember my father-in-law buying up all sorts of copies of that paper around Western Michigan.

I’ve posted a Christmas story on the blogsite today, that I wrote last year. The kids liked it when I read it out loud on Christmas Eve, and though I haven’t gone back to edit it in the meantime, I’m going to put it out there for all of you. You can read “Chex Mix Confidential” by clicking HERE, or go to the pages in the sidebar on the right and look over all my Christmas stories. Hope you find something in there to your liking. Let me know in a comment how (or if) you liked any.

So to all my faithful friends and readers out there, have a wonderful holiday, and let’s look forward to a better 2010. Hey, it’s an election year! How bad could it be??

Jack Bauer Enters the War on Christmas

Things turn ugly as Santa is interrogated by Kiefer Sutherland. Pretty funny. Found on The Daily What.

Readers of my book “Recut Madness” might recognize a similar storyline in my Red State version of “Miracle on 34th Street”, wherein Santa is brought before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. It has a less happy ending than this video, but then again, I wrote it in 2006. You all can read it right here.

Man, I have got to figure out how to use video editing software! How can a writer get his ideas in front of people if he doesn’t also become a videographer/producer/director/editor/sound editor? It’s nearly impossible.

A Joke Worth Repeating Through the Holidays

An old friend just sent a good joke that is both about Christmas and about current affairs. Keep this one in your pocket to have handy at tasteful social affairs.

It is near the Christmas break of the school year. The students have turned in all their work and there is really nothing more to do. All the children are restless and the teacher decides to have an early dismissal.

Teacher: “Whoever answers the questions I ask, first and correctly can leave early today.”

Little Johnny says to himself “Good, I want to get outta here. I’m smart and will answer the question.”

Teacher: “Who said ‘Four Score and Seven Years Ago’?”

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Susie says, “Abraham Lincoln.”

Teacher: “That’s right Susie, you can go home.”

Johnny is mad that Susie answered the question first.

Teacher: “Who said ‘I Have a Dream’?”

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Mary says, “Martin Luther King.”

Teacher: “That’s right Mary, you can go.”

Johnny is even madder than before.

Teacher: “Who said ‘Ask not, what your country can do for you’?”

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Nancy says, “John F. Kennedy.”

Teacher: “That’s right Nancy , you may also leave.”

Johnny is boiling mad that he has not been able to answer to any of the questions.

When the teacher turns her back Johnny says, “I wish these bitches would keep their mouths shut!”

The teacher turns around: “NOW WHO SAID THAT?”


Happy Monkey Day!!!

It’s the tail end of a pretty miserable decade. Unemployment is still high, a record number of people are on food stamps, the economy hasn’t recovered yet, and we are still fighting two wars in the middle east. Most of Congress has shown themselves to be meretricious whores, when they’re not acting like WATBs, so we still don’t have national health care or any kind of meaningful oversight on the Gordon Geckos of Wall Street. The Bears completely suck, the Wolverines completely suck, the Tigers traded Curtis Granderson, and there are Asian carp lurking in the sewers. In light of all this….



Just be ready for the hangover and regrets tomorrow.

Goodbye, Grandy

The recession in Detroit has claimed another victim. The Tigers’ Curtis Granderson, who by all accounts is as good a man as he is a centerfielder, has been peddled to make room on the payroll. No more will Tiger fans see that skinny body, with the knee socks pulled up high, stretching singles into doubles and roaming the expanse of the outfield. I was hoping that this man, picked 80th in the draft a few years ago, would spend his entire career in a Detroit uniform. It was not to be.

And what’s worse, as cliche as it may sound, is that he’s been traded to the Yankees. The crucible of New York and Yankee Stadium will work hard to beat his personality to fit the Yankee standards and extinguish the fire in his beautiful eyes. After a few key strikeouts, the NY fans will turn on him like a revolving door and boo him straight outta town. I just pray that his character is strong enough to last his tenure there. Because they don’t care if you’re a team leader there, or how much good work you really do through your charities. On top of that, you have to win, all the time. How can anyone stand up to that? Why should they need to?

In honor of Curtis G., here’s a little bit of doggerel I wrote for Bardball in 2008:

No one with a bat is more handy,
With a stance coiled like ribbon candy.

His gait is smooth like aged brandy,
Stretching singles into doubles his modus operandi.

In any outfield, verdant or sandy,
He’ll grab more flies than the Rio Grande.
With five skills at his command, he
Picks up his team like a Starbucks grande.
He could melt the heart of Tristram Shandy.
Man o man, that kid is dandy.
Can’t you tell? I love Grandy!