My Holiday Accomplishments

The list of all that I accomplished over the holidays is too long to write about, so that’s a bit of luck for you readers. But I can still waste your time giving you some selected highlights. I already wrote about spending some quality time with our dogs. But wait, there’s more!

First thing I did was try not to be such a dick when I was out shopping and running errands. I was inspired by this older pic of Alice Cooper serving others that resurfaced and made the rounds on Twitter recently.

I wasn’t as ambitious as Mr. Cooper, but I tried to hold doors for others and keep a smile on my face. When cars cut me off, I made sure to wave at the drivers with all the fingers on my hand and not just the middle one. I always wonder what the world would be like if each person in the world did those little things every day for a whole year.

I also stayed healthy. I told you about my COVID test. We heard of a friend of the family who got very sick with COVID but is recovering. We also heard of some folks who are friends of friends who have passed away. They predict the omicron variant infection rate in Chicagoland will peak by the end of January. Looks like no indoor public activities for a while still. See you outside in spring!

Professionally, the news I received just before the holidays was bad, and I took some time over the holidays to process it and feel comfortable about my future.

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A Holiday Gone to the Dogs

I had some time off over the Christmas holiday, so I focused my attention on the dogs, much to their dismay. We have 2 dogs now, a standard poodle and a rescue mutt that is part basset hound and part slinky. Our poodle Lola grew to be a bit larger than we had hoped, so I tried to turn her into a toy poodle over the holiday. Was I successful? Take a look and you be the judge.

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My Positive Christmas COVID Test

Before starting our Christmas festivities with family, we all tested for Covid as some in the family are immunocompromised. We used nasal swab home test kits.

The store was out of the rectal test versions that I prefer. Anyway, with these nasal tests, one red line means you are negative for Covid, and two red lines mean you got the Covid.

Pretty simple, right? I was grateful that my test yielded only one red line. But what did what was underneath mean? Take a look.

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Happy Festivus

That’s right, Google tells me that today is the holiday of Festivus.

And you know what that means, right?

Well, hold on, can we take care of another Festivus tradition first?

That’s right, the airing of grievances. I’ve got a lot of complaints to air, mostly about the unvaccinated these days, although I find I can and usually do complain about most everything. However, I’ll reserve this blog for my wife’s Christmas grievance.

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Repost of Yorn Yule Tune & All New 2021 Content

As I find myself woefully unprepared for Christmas once again, I harken back to advice crooner Pete Yorn gave us 2 Christmases ago – calm the hell down. Read on.

Christmas can be a fun time, but also a very stressful time. There are gifts to buy, MAGA relatives to rub shoulders with, and decorations to put up outside often in less than ideal conditions. But Pete Yorn is back with some sage advice for this season.

Where’s Yorn been since he captivated us musically a decade ago with lyrical tales of his “Strange Condition?” Well, he’s been making music, but just not super memorable. This new tune from his 7th album may not be memorable, but it excellent advice to just calm the hell down.

If you aren’t calm after listening to that tune, then there’s something seriously wrong. Calm down. The gifts will get wrapped. The tree will be trimmed. You’ll get to go a-Wassailing, whatever that is. Ask Uncle George in his MAGA hat about his health. He won’t have time to talk about Trump. He’ll be too busy talking about his gout and the root canal he needs and the fried foods he can’t eat anymore because his cholesterol is too high and … well, you get the idea. When he’s done, just tell him to calm down because he looks great. Okay, that’s probably a lie. What is that spot on his head? But, what the hell, it’s the holidays. Maybe that Christmas lie will help him enjoy a Merry Christmas, like all of us will if we just calm down.

Continue reading for new content.

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Where’s My Christmas Discount?

Well, here we are on my 5th Day of Blogging, and I have decided to start my Christmas shopping. I stopped off at a local store owned by an ex-neighbor named Sherry. She’s a wonderful woman and was a great neighbor for 20 years. Sherry employs Victoria who we happily lived next door to in the same neighborhood as Sherry for 18 years. I always enjoy stopping by to see them and catch up, but they don’t work weekends, especially the crazy weekends before Christmas.

As I approached the cash register at Sherry’s store to checkout, I heard the woman in front of me quietly mention that she’s related to Sherry. She got a discount! Well, not to be outdone, I notified the high school girl working the counter that I was an ex-neighbor of both Sherry and Victoria, so I should get the ex-neighbor’s discount. I could see the panic in her face as her eyes started to dart to-and-fro looking for help. Seeing as it is the holiday season, I decided to be charitable and let her off the hook. I assured her that of course, I was just kidding. Yeah, sure, kidding. I figure I can make up the missed discount next year when we go to Victoria’s son’s wedding. I am sure the wedding venue won’t miss a few place settings of silverware.

Now that I’ve started shopping, I should check the ad revenue from this blog to see if I’ll be able to pay the credit card bills when they come due in January. Let’s take a look.

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Let the Christmas Decorations Begin!

With 2 weeks until Christmas, I best get some holiday posts rolling. I thought I’d begin by checking out our neighborhood for holiday decorations.

Except, I wasn’t expecting the holiday to be Independence Day.

But this one is more like it. I really don’t know how they do this every year.

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Hoping 2021 is Worth the Weight

Happy New Year to you all as I wrap up my Twelve Days of Blogging. When last I checked my weight in an act of public self-shaming, I had gained 2 pounds back from my summer & fall 17 pound weight loss. I hatched a crazy plan to gain less than 5 pounds per month during the 3 winter months, and I would then start Spring 2021 weighing less than last year. Even nuttier is that’s the plan I’ve decided to follow – weight gain. It’s the only plan I have. Winter weight gain is inevitable for me. The best I can do is minimize it.

I knew December would be hard. By the end of the month, my diet had turned almost exclusively to a focus on the 4 holiday food groups of cookies, chocolate, caramel, and eggnog. My workouts had faded as Christmas activities and a bathroom renovation took precedence over self-care. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie …

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Holiday Eats

Today is the eighth day of my Twelve Days of Blogging, and Christmas leftovers in the house are running low, unlike my weight because of the Christmas leftovers. It’s a vicious cycle. My wife made some special sandwiches for Christmas Eve, and I was looking forward to this on Christmas Day …

Until I saw the whole dish …

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Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Here we are halfway through my Twelve Days of Blogging. I’ll let you do the math to figure out how many days that is. I hope you received the gifts you wanted or at least gift receipts along with the crappy ones.

I received this thoughtful gift from my oldest daughter. Now I can go around smelling like I’m stinking drunk even when I’m not.

Examine those soaps a bit closer and you will see this …

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A Christmas Haul

Here we are on the fourth day of my Twelve Days of Blogging, and I experienced quite a haul yesterday. No, I didn’t get a lot of gifts. (Thanks for that lack of gifts, by the way) My haul involved literally hauling these five 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall up a tricky flight of stairs with a couple tight turns at the bottom and top.

No, I didn’t do it alone. I assisted my brother-in-law who is doing our bathroom renovation & expansion. But then, I got the bright idea to haul these bad boys up the stairs … by myself.

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The Twelve Days of Blogging

There was a time when I was blogging daily, but complaints from blog followers were such that I had to cut back. I’m sure it was because the daily posts were soooo hilarious that readers couldn’t get anything done due to frequent bursts of chortling and chuckling all day when thoughts turned to my daily post with the end result being that they accomplished nothing.

But I’m back, baby. Twelve days of blogging to coincide with the twelve days of Christmas. Wait, what? Christmas is Friday? Uh-oh. Are stores open during COVID? Maybe I can coincide my blogging with the eight days of Chanukah. Wait, what? That’s over already? I completely missed Chanukah? I always feel like I slight Chanukah, and this year I’ve gone and missed it entirely. The least I can do is recruit a major celebrity like Motown legend Smokey Robinson to deliver a festive Chanukah video message.

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Holiday Decorations in my Neighborhood

It’s nice that our neighbors behind us decided to install an airport landing strip in their backyard this holiday season.

I do need some trees trimmed in the back, so I’m not objecting to a small plane or two trying to land.

It’s not like we don’t have some of our own interesting decorations in our trees out front. Take a look …

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The Day the Ornament Died

It’s New Year’s Day. Happy New Year to you. It turns out that my wife is allergic to the Christmas tree that has been up in our house for 3 weeks now. Nothing too serious. Just her throat closing up when she’s in the same room with it. But we entertained company on 5 different occasions over the holidays including last night, so up the tree stayed. Until today.

The tree is coming down today and heading out for chipping and mulching. No longer do we live in the neighborhood where we attach trees to old toilets and dump them in the neighborhhood lake for the fish to use as breeding grounds. That’s a blog post for another day. Nope. Out to the curb with it, maybe with an ornament left on it.

Having 5 kids, our tree features a lot of homemade or kid-centric ornaments. I’m guessing a child may have made this one …

ornament1.jpg

Heck, there are even ornaments that I painted many years ago on the tree …

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