Monday, December 31, 2007


"Hi dudes and dudettes!!!! Welcome to my first YouTube video!!!!"

"Wait a minute! Gotta adjust the camera!"

" Isn't this tres cool!!!???"

"Oops! Gotta adjust the camera again!"

"Well, as you know, Christmas has been here!"

"I got lotsa cool presents!"

"But the best that I got from my family was this little baby ipod Classic!!! Is that righteous or what!?"

I just looooooove my ipod!!!

"Of course there's a downside to it. Everybody says they break in a year or two! The classics have a disk hard drive inside and it just wears out!"

"And they say you can't change the battery! You have to buy a whole new machine when it runs out!"

"Maybe the Nano's a better deal. It doesn't have so many movable parts. It's like a big Flash Drive. Of course other brands have mp3 players that allow you to change batteries. I had one of those and it worked great!"

"But iTunes is such a great way to download and that only works on ipods ! iTunes is so easy to use! I used to use Realplayer and that sucked big time!"

"W...W...Wait a minute.....(Sniff!)"



"Good Lord! I got my ipod dirty!"

Lick! Lick!

"Don't worry, little guy! We'll fix you up!"


"Well, if you only last a year, then we'll make sure it's a good year!"

"Gotta go now! Peace, all you dudes!!!"

"Now let's do you turn this thing off?"

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Why do modern poets have such a difficult time writing about Christmas? Take a look at this fragment of a poem (below) by Auden (Most of the poems are represented by fragments to save're not missing much, believe me).

The "ingression" of love? The "abiding crag" is "on" forgiveness?? Did Auden even think about this when he wrote it? What a shabby effort!

"Little silent Christmas tree/ you are so little/ you are more like a flower/...were you very sorry to come away?" Ugh! It (above) sounds like the something the big, dumb, dog in the Screwy Squirrel cartoon would have said! E.E. Cummings wrote this turkey!

This one (above) is slightly better than the others, maybe because Eliot was a believing Christian, but it has some pretty clunky parts. What is this about the the camels being "galled, sore-footed and refractory?" Why the academic language? The idea of poetry as a celebration of common feeling is lost here.
Modern Christmas poems are often downright depressing. No "Jingle Bells" or "Deck the Halls" for us. Here's part of one by James Dickey. It makes me want to commit suicide. Modern poets are a sad lot, maybe that's why I seldom read them.
Older Christmas poems, especially the ones that double as song lyrics, are much more to my liking: "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed/ the Little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head." Why can't our poets write something simple and elegant like that? Imagine if Auden had written "Away in a Manger:" "Stuck here in an ingressing manger/ The man-god thrust his head on the abiding crag."
It must really gall modern poets that the most popular Christmas poem is still the happy one written by Clement Moore 140 years ago:
Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse."

The mouse is not "galled, sore-footed and refractory." He's just a mouse.

By the way, while I was looking for a picture to illustrate this post I stumbled on this (below) picture of the Nativity by Rubens. Here's a detail...

It's an unusual picture because Christ is portrayed as playful and Mary is positively jovial, as she must have been sometimes. It's a touching picture even though the right side seems to be making a different point than the left side. The colors and rendering are nothing less than masterful.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I had a great Christmas; I hope you did too! That's me above, looking unexpectedly like a figure on a 50s jazz album.

Our tree this year was about 6', in other words, way too short. Proper trees should be awe-inspiring because that's the quality that Christmas itself possesses. Never, ever allow a short person to buy your tree. All trees look tall to someone like that, and that disqualifies them as objective buyers.

A proper tree scrapes the ceiling. A proper tree is so big that that it leaves no room for people. A proper tree is hard to get through the door and provokes endless arguments among family members. A proper tree scratches furniture, knocks things off shelves, and gets sap all over fingers. Proper trees are expensive, and most people will experience years when they can't afford them, but families who've had a good year tempt the wrath of the gods when they try to chintz. Better to skimp on presents than skimp on the tree.

And presents...this is the year that I'll be remembered as a bum because I got my wife a digital video recorder. Her girlfriends call and ask what she she got and there's always a long pause when she tells them, followed by "He got you.....WHAT?" Somehow it got around that only beasts buy their wives electronics.
It happened because I had to do all my shopping at the last minute and I found myself in a giant electronics warehouse with a loudspeaker saying, "The store will close in 20 minutes. Please bring your purchases to the front!" I frantically rushed around looking for something she might at least tolerate. They started to dim the lights and salesmen were nudging people out. I grabbed the first thing I saw that looked like it might work out...and the upshot is that I'm a bum. Friends of my wife won't even look in my direction.

I told this to my neighbor and he said, "Why didn't you get her a gift certificate for some beauty treatments in a spa? You know, one of those places where they put mud and cucumbers on you?" I have to admit that I thought of that but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm a guy and like most guys I'd rather set myself on fire than go into a place like that. Oh well, I'll make it up to her this weekend... but the blemish will remain for years, I can tell.

Anyway, everything else about the holiday was great! What a really profound time Christmas is! I'll write about it later!
By the way.... have you ever noticed how Christmas trees mirror the personality of the person who trimmed them?

I imagine that a guy who looked like this (above) would have a tree...

...that looks like this (above). It's a tidy tree with evenly spaced, tasteful balls.

I imagine that a woman who looked like this (above), would have a tree that looked...

Like this (above). It's the tree equivalent of a poodle.

On another subject, here's a tree (above) that isn't a tree at all. It's a step-ladder!

Monday, December 24, 2007



Players: Martin Olsen & Eddie Fitzgerald

Supervisor: "I don't know...not everybody's cut out for Automotive Marketing!"

Eager Young Assistant: "I'm cut out for it! I'm cut out for it! I just need a chance!"

Eager Young Assistant: "Oh Please, Oh please give me a chance! Pleasepleaseplease!!!"

Supervisor: " 'No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself' -- Nietzsche."

Supervisor: "OK, see those cars over there? I want one of these circulars on each one, got it?
'Nothing is more important than the art of maneuvering for advantageous position' -- Sun -Tzu."

Eager Young Assistant: "Got it! Oh boyoboyoboy!"
Supervisor: " 'Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived stop and go in.' -- Napoleon."

Eager Young Assistant: "Wow! This is fun!"

Eager Young Assistant: (Happy humming)

Eager Young Assistant: "Huh?"



Sunday, December 23, 2007


Supervisor: "You let a girl beat you up?"

Eager Young Assistant: "Mmmmph!"

Supervisor: "Come here! Look at those cars. What do you see?"

Eager Young Assistant: ""

Supervisor: "And whose cars are they?"

Eager Young Assistant: "Um...the little girl's cars?"

Supervisor: "No, they're YOUR cars! You paid for them with your blood and nobody can take them away unless they pry them away from your dead and bloody fingers!

Eager Young Assistant: "Bloody fingers!"

Supervisor: "You're a tiger, fighting for its territory!"

Eager Young Assistant: "I'm a tiger!"

Supervisor: "You're invincible!"

Eager Young Assistant: "Invincible!"

Supervisor: "Now get out there and take possession!"

Eager Young Assistant: "Take possession!"

Supervisor: " 'Whoever reaches his ideal transcends it, eo ipso!' -- Nietzsche."

Eager Young Assistant: "Just let that kid try to interfere! These are MY cars!"

Young Assistant: "Beautiful!"

Eager Young Assistant: "Huh!?"


Eager Young Assistant: (Groan!)

Supervisor: (!!!!!!!!!!!)

Eager Young Assistant: "No, wait! Wait!"
Supervisor: " 'When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you!' -- Nietzsche." '