Friday, December 29, 2006

Merry Sickness

What's worse than a child sick at Christmas?

Two children, two parents, and both sisters-in-law being sick over Christmas.

In the case of my immediate family, we found ourselves in various levels of some bug-induced sickness and kneeling before various toilet bowls from December 22 until today (where I am the last to show any signs of illness - though those last signs are still pretty spectacular.)

Christmas Day was actually the day when we all held it together, but once the turkey had settled the vomiting began. Knowing we had a five hour drive to get home from Virginia (where we were spending the holiday with family as far afield as North Carolina and California) back to exit 16W on the New Jersey Turnpike, the word "dread" wasn't really doing the situation justice.

My wife put it best: "As soon as we find ourselves surrounded by loving people willing to help out with the kids, we let our guard down and relax - and then get sick."

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Here are two examples of many I could give which have hindered both progress on my writing, and also on my Christmas card and gift delivery. I call them "Spidermangirl" and "DarthVader In Pre-School."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Green Christmas

Not White like Bing's, not Blue like Elvis's, but lush and Green like the current festive season in New Jersey.

Maybe four years ago, the first snow came on Christmas morning. Last year, we stood in a good two foot trench of the white stuff shivering to see Santa come to town on a fire truck.

This weekend, I'll be attending what should be the coldest game at Giants Stadium all year long in a damn t-shirt and bermuda shorts.

Every holiday season as far back as I can remember has started with an event. Last year it was the trip to Poughkeepsie to buy our tree in early December when it started snowing as we picked out our Christmas centerpiece from a forest. This year, every time I hear "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" on the myriad radio stations that have been playing holiday songs since the day after Thanksgiving, I want to ask: "Which exit on the turnpike are you turning off? Because here, it looks like mid-September tops."

Luckily, given the nature of my earnings, my shopping was done in July after a particularly large windfall (it's all relative, but when you have an annual regularly salary of $0.00, a "windfall" can be finding a nickel in a storm drain.) I say luckily, because Christmas shopping should not be undertaken in near 70 degree sunshine. Unless you do it in July. Like me. Hmmm.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Alas Greg Wiggle

The news that Greg Wiggle is hanging up his yellow jersey for good was the second shocker out of Australia this year - coupled with Steve Irwin's demise.

Of course, those parents of you out there will probably be aware The Wiggles and the Crocodile Hunter joined forces for a DVD which is rarely out of our player. It features such hits as Old Man Emu, Australia Zoo and a personal favorite - Snakes (You Can Look, But You'd Better Not Touch.) Second only in popularity to the Wiggly Gremlin epic, it will now be viewed in a different light for two reasons.

The Wiggles are an easy target - they camp it up like several rows of tents, and wiggle their hips like The Village People. And yet, their out-takes reveal a bunch of 'mates' mucking around for the camera while they make billions of dollars doing something they would probably do for free. As a result, I like them more than any other children's entertainers.

Except, maybe, Laurie Berkner.

In other news, I'm still waiting to hear from an agent about her signing me up. I am always optimistic when sending the letter, and the longer it takes a decision to arrive makes me feel better and better - until, as has happened twice already, the "sorry, but it's not for me" form letter shows up. I will keep you informed of any developments.

In the meantime, I continue work on the sequel to something that isn't published yet. So far, it's much darker and much more indicative of what I'm going through now with both kids and one income which doesn't cover both of their needs (and wants at Christmas) by a country mile.