Christmas Eve Open Thread

Not much going on up here for the Holidays. My whole family is down in Isle of Palms, SC, and I stayed behind to take care of my animals, as well as Ellie and my brother’s two cats. Not to mention, two weeks in my beach house with 8 dogs (which is how many there would be there if I went with Lily, Rosie, and Seth had to take Ellie) and my family is my idea of hell. There is also the principle of the matter, which is for 20 years I had to travel home for XMAS, I move down he street, and they take the event to South Carolina. I can take a hint.

Went to Wheeling today to drop off a couple hundred diapers at my buddy’s house- he does an annual diaper fundraiser for low income families, and this year we have pulled together more than 6k diapers. I was going to head to the Hobbit afterwards, but my Mexican restaurant (where I planned to eat before the movie) was closed, so I just said to hell with it and came home.

Tomorrow, I plan to stay in boxers and a bathrobe all day, and I have a nice roast, some onions, potatoes, parsnips, and turnips that I intend to cook and eat, and then I think I am going to dive into season 1 of Trueblood, which I have never seen. I keep watching the first episode and not getting into it, but my goal tomorrow is to power through a couple episodes and see if I can get hooked.

You?






196 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    My brother’s rule of any TV show: give it four episodes. After that you can decide if it’s good or garbage. Although there have been times where I can’t make it past one.

  2. 2
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Yutsano: 4 episodes is about how far I got on “Copper.” I got bored with the way every single character was obsessed with our hero Kevin Corcoran. All the women wanted him, and all the men couldn’t stop talking about him. I hadn’t seen so much Marty Stu since I made the mistake of watching “Eragon.”

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    That’s sad that you are going to be alone.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    The comments in this thread have a pink tinge to them. That’s new.

  5. 5
    debit says:

    Went to Wheeling today to drop off a couple hundred diapers at my buddy’s house-

    At first I thought that was going to be the start of a sad story of incontinence.

    Have a good day, John, and give the girls a treat. Tunch will no doubt help himself.

  6. 6
    Hill Dweller says:

    True Blood is awful.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @cathyx: Alone? I have three dogs and three cats with me. I’d kill for some alone time.

    Also, too, that whole thing about being an atheist on Christmas. I know how turkeys feel like on Thanksgiving.

  8. 8
    jeffreyw says:

    I’m reading Jo Walton’s Among Others and I’m not sure if I like it. It was slow going for a while, then picked up, now it’s back to slow. I will plug away at it. It’s turning out to be a damn good survey of science fiction, if nothing else.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    R.I.P. Jack Klugman.

  10. 10
    lamh35 says:

    At work now and will be at work at this same time tomorrow. Hopefully this won’t be me in the lab:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS Balloon Juice Peeps,

  11. 11
    gogol's wife says:

    @cathyx:

    I was thinking how cozy and fun it sounded. I’m in kind of a misanthropic mood this year.

  12. 12
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: But they don’t laugh at your bad jokes.

  13. 13
    Ohio Mom says:

    We’re spending Christmas Day doing what we do every December 25, following the age-old observance of our people, the Jewish tradition of a movie — probably Cirque Du Soleil — and Chinese food.

    No matter what time we show up at the restaurant, there’s usually at least one table full of people we know from having had belonged to one synagogue or another over the years. We are probably one or two degrees of separation from knowing everyone at the other tables.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    I didn’t think I would like “True Blood,” but I did, at least the first couple of seasons. Somewhere after that it jumped the shark for me and I stopped watching it, but I keep meaning to check out the rest of it on HBO Go.

    “Game of Thrones” starts March sometime; I am psyched for that!

    Turned 57 today, but I don’t feel old. My blood relatives all live in the South and were crazy-making years ago before I dropped contacting them, but I’ve heard from and spent time with my real families, who I share no biological connections with. Getting ready to go to dinner with the next batch.

  15. 15
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I have every intention of spending my entire day in jammies, delivering breakfast to my neighbors in the morning (home baked cinnamon rolls, donuts, banana nut muffins and cinnamon raisin bread) opening gifts, baking DH cinnamon rolls for his breakfast. Having the puppy open her stocking and then dressing her up in her santa suit. Letting the cats open their stocking and dressing them up in their new sparkly collars. Then doing little or nothing until I make our christmas dinner which is going to be black forest ham with all the fixings. I am sure drinking heavily will be involved somewhere. Oh and if I can stay awake the Dr. Who special. If not I will DVR it and watch it tomorrow morning.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @John Cole:

    I have three dogs and three cats with me.

    Who are the other two cats?

    Also too, every single year at Christmas whenever I hear the music to “Il est né, le divin Enfant” my mind automatically sings “All your base are belong to Tunch.” It fits perfectly, and will give you a never-ending earworm loop. Try it!

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    Christmas is always best celebrated when over. Baaaaaaaaaaa humbug

    And Santa is a Marxist stooge/baaaaaaaaa humbug

  18. 18
    cathyx says:

    My daughter and I watched the commercially interrupted ‘Sound of Music’ last night. It was wonderful.

  19. 19
    Mary G says:

    @jeffreyw: Just finished that this morning, also loved the beginning but felt it petered out a little towards the end.

    I can heartily recommend “Ready Player One,” which is about the logical extension of video games, where everyone pretty much lives on the net full time.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    Staged to pick up possible future nephew-in-law at airport to take him home and he missed his flight. Or that’s the story. Another nephew hid my phone in one of the secret pockets in some weird twenty pocket fleece I picked up somewhere and it went off during mass.

    I will drop him somewhere in west Texas should he decide to ride to the grandparents tonight.

  21. 21

    Christmas Eve alone in bathrobe and whatever’s on cable. Then tomorrow Christmas dinner with friends that have become family.

    I join in sending greetings to all my new friends here at Balloon Juice. My mom and dad become huge fans as well, so we have at least two of the octogenarian set of The Hamlet in Perrysburg, Ohio nailed down.

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m in kind of a misanthropic mood this year.

    Baaaaaaa humbug!!

  23. 23
    JWL says:

    I’m ticked that the Lions-Falcons Saturday night game that I assumed was a bonus track was played in lieu of Monday Night Football. As though Jesus wouldn’t have wanted them to play tonight.

    Merry who really cares/certainly not me to you all.

    Sincerely, Dougie Downer

  24. 24
    red dog says:

    The first season or so of True Blood was an OK romp but then it just got gory for the sake of strange shit. Actually it was kind of fun just how stupid the Bon Temps youth are.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    About five years ago my father-in-law was in the final stages of life and we spent extended periods of time in Appomattox,VA. Because I work online I was able to be up here and work in the Panera Bread in Lynchburgh. There was a group of vets there every morning and I naturally gravitated them. There was a gentleman there that was an infantryman in Korea in the 7th Division, the unit I was in in 1967-68. He is African American and the group of vets were both AA and white. Anyway, he was a platoon commander of a 95% white and 95% southern unit and performed above and beyond. His friends in Lynchburg were lobbying for him to have his Silver Star upgraded to the MOH.

    Anyhow, I hadn’t seen him in a long time and as we drove around I said, he lets go to Panera, maybe Mr Mosely will be there. Damned if when we walked in there he was with his wife and another fellow. I walked up and said hi and, as I introduced myself and recalled the things about him that I remembered, he began to recognize me too. We talked for a good while and it was a wonderful experience. This man had been valorous in combat and is incredibly gentle in his life. I could not have had a better Christmas present than to see him again.

    As I left his wife met me at the door and told me about the article I posted. She said “People really need to know what men like him did for this country”. Flashing through my mind was how Barak Obama has been treated since he became President and I almost said, “and this country often doesn’t deserve what men like him did for it”. I held back, I certainly don’t need to point it out to him and his family but still.

  26. 26
    PurpleGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: I read it last year and really liked it. It is a good survey of the field. I found the girl’s emotional response to SF and the various life changes she went through to mirror a portion of my experience. YMMV

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m going to sleep until the kids won’t let me and then I’m going to stare at them groggily while they open presents from me I’ve never seen, after which I plan on going back to sleep. IOW, same as every Christmas.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mary G: Happy birthday!

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Who are the other two cats?

    Oh, never mind, you said. Next time I’ll try to remember to read the main post before I go haring off on random thread comments.

  30. 30
    ellie says:

    Mojitos and tacos tonight with my DH and the cats. Tomorrow we are driving down to Colorado Springs for a ham dinner with my nephew, his wife, and their 2-year-old son who is the cutest kid ever. I can’t wait for him to open his gifts! It is nice that my nephew is so close. I didn’t know him at all when he was growing up; my brother (his father) was in the service and they always lived so far away. My nephew is the only family we have out here; everyone else is back East. It will be fun and I am looking forward to it. Last year at this time, DH and I were on the road to Colorado. He was due to start his job here on Dec. 27. It sucked. We were the only ones on I-70 for long periods of time.

  31. 31
    justawriter says:

    My own little Christmas Eve tradition. I first listened to “Fireside Al” reading “The Shepherd” by Frederic Forsyth the first time it was aired in 1978 or 79 as I traveled home from college. It was the first of many Christmases in the dark of a North Dakota winter night traveling down a lonely highway with the soothing voice of Al Maitland telling this wonderful Christmas ghost story. Merry Christmas, everyone.
    The Shepherd

  32. 32
    Stephen1947 says:

    I’m editor of a tiny little non-profit monthly n’hood newspaper, and decided to put it out this week rather than next because it’s harder to get volunteers to work on New Years than Christmas, at least around here (downtown Boston). I’ll spend the day doing layout, and then the designer (fresh from a hard afternoon in Chinatown and a movie theater) replaces me at the computer while I go off to a neighbor’s house for holiday dinner. Great choice of Christmas music, BTW, Mr. Cole.

  33. 33
    General Stuck says:

    Adagio For Strings – Agnus Dei – choir version.

    Baa… Oh nevermind.

  34. 34
    22over7 says:

    Tonight is the spouse’s present: his favorite college-town pizza, which I had shipped at an exorbitant cost.

    Tomorrow I’m hoping we can go to the movies, but like Betty Cracker, I’m sick as a dog. In fact, I’m sicker than Betty because I’ve been sick (sinus infection from hell) for almost two frickin’ months.

    Luckily, nobody’s coming over, so a smallish rib roast, potatoes, salad, and pie will have to do.

    John, have a very merry day, relax, enjoy the animals and the food, get drunk off your ass, and remember that lots of people you don’t even know, love you.

  35. 35
    SuzieC says:

    That is my all-time favorite Christmas song! How did you know?

  36. 36
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    My two favorite Christmas songs

    Greg Lake “I believe in Father Christmas”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-PAKOt7sM

    Christ DeBurgh “A Spaceman came a traveling”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVakQ5aegLY

  37. 37
    Calming Influence says:

    Christmas with the critters sounds like a pretty relaxing time. And hope you like Trueblood (AKA Vampire Sex). Great casting, and the first two seasons are great. It’s started to get a little complicated/self indulgent more recently for my taste, but still a good diversion.

  38. 38
    gene108 says:

    @ellie:

    I wish I could have stretches like that on the East coast. Traffic has gotten really bad during holiday traveling time.

    For me I’ll be driving back from my mom’s in NC to NJ tomorrow, in vain hope I can get through DC without hitting a traffic jam.

  39. 39
    ruemara says:

    working on an animation, hopefully not tomorrow. tomorrow it looks like movies, doctor who special and making food for the ex, since he’s alone too.

  40. 40
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I’m doing the same, Cole, except I’m making a pot of gumbo and watching some DVDs. Enjoying the peace.

  41. 41
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @General Stuck:

    Thank you. I adore Barber’s Adagio for Strings in any form.

  42. 42
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    A small affair. Present opening between my gf and myself, followed by a fluffy omelet. Dinner is homemade turkey veg soup and grilled cheese samiches (with red onion!) and jello for desert.

    We’ll curl up on the couch, put a DVD in the player (Mama Mia! She picked this time) roll a doob and kick back. There will be kissing at some point.

  43. 43
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @gene108:

    On Friday I had to run some errands, it took me 30 minutes to get up Western Boulevard which is less than 1/2 mile long. Traffic was truly and utterly insane. I have never seen anything like it here.

  44. 44
    RSA says:

    I am going to dive into season 1 of Trueblood, which I have never seen.

    You should read the Charlaine Harris novels first–they’re better than Twilight!

    (Half-kidding, but you’ll have to guess which half.)

  45. 45
    quannlace says:

    Don’t forget to tune in for your favorite scene from ‘A Christmas Story,” Whether it’s the tongue on the flag pole, the Bumpus’ hound dogs who ignored everyone ‘cept the Old Man or Scud Farcus’ yellow eyes.

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    Happy Xmas eve to all you jackals. I’d rather spend my holidays with all of you than with the nicest people in the world.

    Wish you could all come to Xavi’s first birthday party a week from Saturday. For those who were around last year for the birth and pics you will, like me, wonder where the year went.

    Having a baby and getting Obama reelected in the same year is pretty great.

    Not that I was solely responsible for either one.

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @quannlace: I like the faux swearing from the basement when he works on the furnace.

    My old man was like that, but times a thousand.

  48. 48
    efgoldman says:

    @John Cole:

    Also, too, that whole thing about being an atheist on Christmas.

    I’ve only been atheist for about forty years, but I’ve always been Jewish. Try being a kid in grade school where most of my schoolmates have never seen a Jew.
    Some music (which I love, regardless) to make the holiday brighter.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMyO5XrI1-Q

    ETA: I’ll be posting favorite music from time to time, just because.

  49. 49
    Origuy says:

    I was going to head to the Hobbit afterwards

    If a dwarf knocks at your door tomorrow, tell him that’s not a wizard’s rune on it and don’t let him in. He has family with him.

  50. 50
    BGinCHI says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Gently modified, this would make a terrific epitaph.

  51. 51
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    True Blood was surprising. I didn’t expect it to be so imaginative and creative. I did expect it to be kinda smutty, and it was, but not in a gratuitous way. It’s a Southern Gothic soap opera with wicked Absurdist elements and I enjoy it.

  52. 52
    Suffern ACE says:

    At what point should I overcome my inhibitions and just ask the folks at the next table if I can sample their order? Would the Christmas Spirit allow that?

  53. 53
    cathyx says:

    @Suffern ACE: After 3 drinks.

  54. 54
    efgoldman says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    ….after which I plan on going back to sleep. IOW, same as every Christmas.

    You will really miss it when they get older, and you can’t get them out of bed, even to open presents.

  55. 55
    parsimon says:

    It’s a stay-at-home holiday here as well, in part because I’m running the show at the office (with a fair amount of grumpiness), in part because family is far off, and in part because I have a case of the hives from hell — going on for over a month now as a result of medication taken for lyme disease. Man, my skin hurts.

    This evening was shrimp and part of marathon of Firefly; tomorrow will be very simple chicken breasts with mushroom sauce, roasted potatoes w/ parsley, and something or other with green beans (not sure what to do there). Apple-nut bread, ice cream and fresh blackberries for dessert. This is in between bouts of slathering on a tea tree oil lotion for the dermatological malfunction.

  56. 56
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @red dog: First two seasons of True Blood are good but after that, it peters out, too many stories. Anyhow went to see The Hobbit today, not too shabby, but I think I will skip the 3-D, kind of messes with my eyes.

  57. 57
    efgoldman says:

    For those who have to have football, there is a really, really awful bowl game on the worldwide leader.

    ETA: And I am really, really sick of diva receivahs gesturing for a flag on every goddamned play. Pro and college, both.

  58. 58
    realbtl says:

    Wife and I will have a quiet day tomorrow. With 2 blended families we got in the habit years ago of doing the kids Christmas early, yesterday this year.

    Daughter was here from Maine, now in CA with mom and grandparents then back to MT on Friday for a few days. She will then drive my (hers now) Subaru back to Maine. Ah to be young again and taking a 2600 mile road trip in the middle of winter.

    Have a Merry one folks.

  59. 59
    BGinCHI says:

    Forgot to mention I was making stuffed pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon, sweet potatoes in truffle oil, and a spinach salad.

    Plus fancy bubbly from France.

    AKA, the usual in Chez BG.

  60. 60
    gogol's wife says:

    Here’s the cutest video on all of YouTube (except for all the cat videos and Shirley Temple clips). It’s a 1933 short, “Ain’t She Sweet,” which starts with a lovely Max Fleischer cartoon of cats having a barn dance and ends with the fantastic Lillian Roth (live action) singing “Ain’t She Sweet,” with the lyrics provided below with a bouncing ball. This will cheer anybody up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFM5YHVMEZs

  61. 61
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @efgoldman:

    I’ve only been atheist for about forty years, but I’ve always been Jewish. Try being a kid in grade school where most of my schoolmates have never seen a Jew.
    Some music (which I love, regardless) to make the holiday brighter.

    We’re Atheists in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. So the Holiday Spirit doesn’t get slathered on too oppressively. I don’t complain about the religious holidays too much these days. I used to work in retail. Then I complained plenty.
    There’s lots of great music made for Christmas and we enjoy it all.

  62. 62
    onlymike says:

    Hello everyone.
    Longtime lurker first time poster. I’m having a rough time this Christmas. The situation is entirely of my own making but it’s also affecting my two cats whose only fault is having me as an owner (at least one of them would argue as to just who owns whom). I live in Phoenix and am being evicted and need to find homes for both ASAP. I have no money and no hope. I’ve been on a downward spiral for over a year now and made no effort to reverse the trajectory – I’ve just let it happen. So now here I am

  63. 63
    cathyx says:

    My daughter has declared she’s an atheist. She thinks it’s all hokum and too far fetched to be real. She’s 14.

  64. 64
    Steeplejack says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’m at that point with Game of Thrones and Copper. All episodes on the DVR, haven’t been able to get myself to dive into either one. Almost on the verge of saying the hell with it and deleting them.

  65. 65
    parsimon says:

    @cathyx: Soon she’ll declare she’s a vegetarian.

  66. 66
    Maude says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    I didn’t get anything special to cook. I did get vanilla ice cream.

  67. 67
    cathyx says:

    @parsimon: Never. She doesn’t like enough vegetables. I call her a carboterian.

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    So the Holiday Spirit doesn’t get slathered on too oppressively. I don’t complain about the religious holidays too much these days.

    I went to a 65-70% Jewish high school (Brookline, MA). Since we had nothing to do on Xmas eve, I would gather as many other (Jewish) brass players as I could, and we’d go to Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill in Boston and play carols until we couldn’t stand the cold any more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisburg_Square

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    @Steeplejack: Really? I thought Copper was mediocre, but GoT is well worth hanging in there for (unless you just don’t like the genre).

    BTW, got City of Bohane but haven’t started it yet (it was you who said it was on the list, non?).

  70. 70
    efgoldman says:

    @cathyx:

    She thinks it’s all hokum and too far fetched to be real. She’s 14.

    Smart kid.

  71. 71
    BGinCHI says:

    @cathyx: I’m going with Anarchist then. Not much of an ethos, unfortunately, but better than Nihilism.

  72. 72
    IowaOldLady says:

    Mr IowaOldLady and I are on our own tomorrow, so we’ll go to The Hobbit. Then we’re driving to Chicagoland to see our son and daughter-in-law on Boxing Day. Our favorite listening for Christmas is David Sedaris narrating his experience as Crumpet the Macy’s Elf.

  73. 73
    Haydnseek says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I second that. One of the greatest pieces of music in the canon. Pachabel included. (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @cathyx: @BGinCHI:

    I’m going with Anarchist then.

    As long as she doesn’t declare herself a Republican.

  75. 75
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @onlymike:

    Post that again, and perhaps again, the BJ community will find a home for those critters but you have to be persistent, do not give up.

  76. 76
    cathyx says:

    @efgoldman: Doubt she’ll go Republican. She’s too self conscious to be an Anarchist. She doesn’t like to call attention to herself.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    @quannlace:

    I have to recommend the source for the movie, Jean Shepherd’s Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters (1971). A great collection of linked stories on the archetypical mid-century American experience: Christmas, high school prom (the title story), state fair, summer vacation trips, etc.

  78. 78
    IowaOldLady says:

    @cathyx: I used to think my son’s only option would be to join Campus Crusade for Christ, just to prove he could.

  79. 79
    onlymike says:

    I didn’t finish but don’t really know where to start or end. I can’t send pictures so I guess I can only describe them. Both are fixed but their shots are not current (it’s been over two years since they’ve been to a vet.) One is a long haired male tuxedo cat – very pretty. Not the smartest cat in the world (understatement) but one of the most lovable. He doesn’t particularly like to be picked up but loves to be petted and loves to curl up at my side and purr contentedly. Named Phantom because he has a black face with white markings like the mask of the phantom of the opera. I never actually call him Phantom though – I call him Goofyboy or (don’t know why) Spoob.
    The female is basically my feline version of Rosie. Her name is Sophia but I call her Skronk (again don’t know why but it seems to fit). She was left behind by her owners in one of the apartments here when they moved and I took her because no one else would. She’s a tan and black striped short hair. She’s whip-smart and very funny but can be maddening – she’s goint to do what she wants to do and that is pretty much that. I love her to pieces but she can be a handful – John Cole level patience will be required. This is going on too long so I’ll submit and continue below.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Not that I was solely responsible for either one.

    But, like the little girl in those old Shake’n’Bake commercials, you can say, with truth: “And I he’ped!!”

  81. 81
    efgoldman says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Jean Shepherd’s Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters (1971). A great collection of linked stories on the archetypical mid-century American experience: Christmas, high school prom (the title story), state fair, summer vacation trips, etc.

    I think Mr. Shepherd would prefer Gene.
    Most of his stories originated on his syndicated radio show, which used to play in Boston on Saturday afternoons when I was a whippersnapper (late 50s – early 60s).

  82. 82
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Haydnseek:

    I second that. One of the greatest pieces of music in the canon. Pachabel included. (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)

    One of the things I dislike about a 100% travel job is being away from the Hi-Fi Stereo and records for so long. Sure, there’s internet radio and YouTube but it’s not the same as dropping the needle on a Dutch Phillips Beethoven symphony and hearing the Altecs fill the room with strings, horns and percussion. I’ll sleep wherever and take as many flights as necessary but I miss my music.

  83. 83
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I have to admit that I am positively lathering over the new series coming in 2013 “Ripper Street”, “Whitechapel” was absolutely epic, and I could not get enough of each episode, the last series was absolutely brilliant, “Ripper Street” looks like it is going to be wonderful. I cannot wait to watch it.

  84. 84
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    A favorite tune of the wife and I. We went to my cousin’s house tonight for the annual thing. I saw another cousin I haven’t seen in 15 years. Rubbed Obama’s win in the face of my aunt and uncle and then argued about guns for a bit. Plenty of beer and wine which is the most important tradition. My family gets along better b/c we only see each other once, maybe twice a year. My wife’s family is bunch of raving fucking lunatics because they have some kind of gathering twice a month. Fuck that noise. Merry Christmas to the intertubes.

  85. 85
    Robert Sneddon says:

    I’ve known Jo Walton for a long time, from before she moved to Canada and as far as I’m concerned Among Others was well worthy of the Hugo it won this year, beating out George RR Martin’s latest GoT doorstop. As another fan said, “It’s our book.”

  86. 86
    Ed in NJ says:

    My 10 year old daughter has a high fever so most of our Xmas Eve plans have been cancelled. It’s strange, but I am vastly enjoying sitting around with a couple of drinks and watching A Christmas Story, knowing that the gifts are wrapped already. This instead of the usual visiting until late, convincing the kids to get to bed, followed by wrapping “Santa’s” gifts until 1 in the morning, only to be woken at 6.

    Enjoy all.

  87. 87
    efgoldman says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    ….being away from the Hi-Fi Stereo and records for so long. Sure, there’s internet radio and YouTube but it’s not the same as dropping the needle on a Dutch Phillips Beethoven symphony and hearing the Altecs fill the room with strings, horns and percussion.

    You know, if I had any vinyl left – I haven’t since the late 80s – I’d send them to you, Seriously.
    The Altecs, are they Voice of the Theaters? In the early 70s, I was music director/production manager/general dogsbody for a small record company. Once, when production was late, I flew to the plant in Allentown PA to check the test pressings. They had a pair of VOTTs hanging in the conference room wall (which must have been reinforced). Man, what a noise.

  88. 88

    Christmas Eve is just me and the hubs. Tonight we grill-roasted a duck, I roasted potatoes, and made a raspberry-port sauce. It was all delightful. Tomorrow we ride down to my folks, then to my aunt & uncle’s to see more family. And bless me, is it snowing just a touch outside? God bless us everyone!

  89. 89
    Steeplejack says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I haven’t started either series yet. Threat to delete is because my (300-hour) DVR is perpetually at 99% full and I have to find room to record new stuff that I also won’t watch. And at some point these recorded series becoming daunting. “I have to watch 19 hours of Game of Thrones?!” But I came back on a similar deficit with Justified, so it can be done.

    And, yes, I am the one waiting on the Bohane report.

  90. 90
    Keith G says:

    There are a handful of places that, aside for holiday decor, continue to do what they do without regard to seasonal festivities.

    A hospice is one such place.

    Today we did what we do. We provided a warm and caring place for a family to gather as their loved one died – which she did at 9:13 AM. With hugs and tears we comforted the family and they in turn comforted us. The heartfelt thanks from everyone of the family was the best present I could think of receiving.

    Later on, we sat down to share a pork loin roast (brined with my special recipe), dressing, wild rice, and greens.

    Tomorrow back at the hospice which is located in an historic home built in 1919. A grand holiday buffet will be provided to staff, residents and families by a local gay bar (we are a nonprofit serving patients who are fighting AIDS).

    Edit. I just downloaded Scrooged from Amazon Prime. So I will be smiling the rest of the night.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Agree. I think I have a CD somewhere that is nothing but eight or nine different versions of it.

  92. 92
    parsimon says:

    @onlymike: onlymike, how old are the cats? Did they grow up together? Can they be separated, or would they rather be together? Also, are they indoor cats, or indoor-outdoor?

    I’m nowhere near Phoenix, alas.

  93. 93
    Haydnseek says:

    @gogol’s wife: Thank’s for this! I sent it along to a close friend who has a case of the Christmas blues. We’re both huge fans of vintage animation, and Max Fleischer cats can do wonders…….

  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    I think Mr. Shepherd would prefer Gene.

    I’m sure he would, but in fact he spelled it Jean.

  95. 95
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’m sure he would….

    That’s what I get for thinking I remember. At my age, that’s never a safe thing to do.

  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    @efgoldman:

    I remember his radio show too, and his name is Jean, goddamn it.

  97. 97
    Haydnseek says:

    @efgoldman: I’m fortunate that I own a copy. I’ve read it a dozen times, and will treasure it always.

  98. 98
    onlymike says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: thanks I’ll definitely keep trying. They’re both great cats but different as night and day. The reason I named the female Sophia is I stopped and watched part of an old Golden Girls episode where the Estelle Getty character (Sophia) was being talked about for her scrappiness and obstinance and I thought “ah perfect!” I got her in 2007 and I think she was less than a year old then – she started going into heat about two months later. She’s tiny but seems to think she’s a lioness. Phantom is a big guy – not quite Tunch size but he’s big. But with the dainty little cry of a kitten. I love both of them and have spent the last few days apologizing to them. It would be nice to get them into a new (better) home.

  99. 99
    Shana says:

    @Yutsano: I have a friend who insists that you have to listen to a new CD at least twice before you make up your mind, so I completely understand.

  100. 100
    Schlemizel says:

    The kids are all far away & can’t make it home this year. We decided to go out for Chinese (Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra) and take it easy. Won’t have the “Chinese turkey” though. Will probably watch A Christmas Story once.

    Hey! It has work for my Jewish friends for years so it is a tradition of sorts!

  101. 101
    debit says:

    @onlymike: Email Anne Laurie and she can front page this. And let me say how sorry I am you’re going through this. Will you be okay? Do you have shelter?

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Haydnseek says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: “MMMMM, Altecs! (Homer Simpson voice.) I’m running Maggies these days, with solid state power, but MMMM, Altecs! Whatever the hardware, it’s the music that matters, and when you drop the rock in the groove it all comes home, however long you’ve been on the road.

  104. 104
    Schlemizel says:

    @efgoldman:

    In the mid to late 70s he also did a 30 minute show on PBS TV once a week. That was the first time I had ever heard of him and it became ‘must watch TV’ for me.

    I had to drag my family to see ‘A Christmas Story’ when it came out – I couldn’t wait. He was a real gem, I felt like he knew my family & I knew his – that is a great gift.

  105. 105
    Keith G says:

    @onlymike: It seems that you may have luck if you check out resources here.

    Edited to fix link

  106. 106
    Schlemizel says:

    @RSA:

    My wife started bringing the books home, a friend at work lent them to her.

    I read the first one & loved the set up & liked the story OK. The problem was I started liking each book less than the last. There were enough interesting ideas to keep me reading for a bit (I really like the idea of ‘meeting the sun’ as a suicide for a vampire) but the storys became stupid and it was just a matter of time before Sookie would get a beating that would kill a normal human. every. book. Wife has read them all I gave up after 5 or so.

  107. 107
    onlymike says:

    @efgoldman: Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s Jean. and thanks to the responders – I’m trying to catch up on the thread. I keep getting kicked out of BJ but it isn’t FYWP, it’s my computer.

  108. 108
    onlymike says:

    @parsimon: Sorry this is taking me so long – as I said my computer has problems. They’re indoor cats but the male would probably like to be an indoor-outdoor cat. They don’t need to be together – the female pretty much makes the male’s life miserable at every opportunity (though she’s about a third of his size.) I try to keep it to a minimum and she acts like I exist just to ruin her fun. As I said she’s a handful but is very affectionate with me (when she’s not pissed off at me for ruining her fun – which is actually pretty often.)
    And I agree with you about Phoenix – all of AZ for that matter. It’s hard living in this reddest of red states

  109. 109
    CaseyL says:

    Quiet tonight and tomorrow: I decided not to visit or be visited this year. Was supposed to spend the weekend getting a pile of framed art up on my walls; have not yet done so. Maybe tomorrow…

    Just me and the kitties. Not quite a silent night, but a very serene one.

    Kinda funny how many of us opted out of the social whirl this year.

    Happy Holidays, y’all.

  110. 110
    Alison says:

    @onlymike: I second the notion of emailing AL to see what the crowd here can do. I’m sure there is someone in your area, or someone who knows someone there, who could take them in or recommend a good place to bring them. Also…what about you? Do you have somewhere to go?

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    I am now a true knitter, I think — because I can no longer think of Christmas Eve as anything other than a time to frantically try to finish last-minute gifts, I impulse bought some yarn and needles this afternoon to make knitted gift card holders for my niece and nephew.

    Sitting in a hotel room alone with Christmas music on the iBook, knitting away. But at least my dad is able to be at home for Christmas Day instead of stuck in the hospital. Turns out those Mayo Clinic folks know what they’re doing.

    ETA: Sorry, forgot to link the pattern for the other crafters in the hizz-ouse.

  112. 112
    BGinCHI says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Us too.

    Not sure we caught all of the Whitechapel seasons. They were really short and left us wishing for more. Need to check and see if we missed anything.

    Did we ever talk about MI5?

    I still think that’s a very underrated series.

  113. 113
    parsimon says:

    @onlymike: You sound really sad, onlymike, and I’m sorry for this trouble you’re having.

    I third the question about whether you yourself will be okay. Somewhere to go? Some people to crash with?

  114. 114
    onlymike says:

    @parsimon: I misread the last line – I thought you said you were somewhere near Phoenix, alas – hence my swipe at Phoenix and AZ in general which was, I guess, uncalled for when I’m asking for help.

  115. 115
    Heliopause says:

    You?

    Masturbating to midget porn. Duh.

  116. 116
    hitchhiker says:

    I’m on the left coast, where it’s cold and rainy . . . sitting in a small church listening to my spousal unit and another guy rehearse their music for the 7 pm service.

    I’m post-christian, so there’s nothing fraught in this scene. Just some very nice people in a country church, one of whom I’ve been waking up next to for going on 30 years.

    Tomorrow I’ll walk my new rescue dog, and we’ll call our remaining aging parents, have steak and cream of broccoli soup with our married daughter, and skype with our adventurous daughter, who’s spending a year working at a homeless shelter in Spokane.

    Candles. Red and white flowers. LIttle kids are starting to arrive, all dressed up and omg, it’s xmas.

  117. 117
    Raven says:

    Back in the Holiday Inn Express in Lynchburgh, nothing but a wake-up and then unass this motherfucker.

  118. 118
    PeakVT says:

    Nothing much happening here, except the World’s Worst Neighbors are gone and I am blasting all my heavy tunes. I might plug in later and jam for a bit.

    Hugs to everyone having a tough time this holiday.

  119. 119
    lamh35 says:

    haven’t read the whoe thread, but I like True Blood. the first seasons are the best, but if ur not fanatical about it, I still like watching & keeping up with it.

    watching the last bit of It’s a Wonderful Life, I tell myself every year tat I’m not gonna watch it & still I just do

  120. 120
    Anya says:

    @onlymike: I hope the cats will find a happy home. What about you? Are you okay otherwise? I am a bit worried about you. Please take good care of yourself and be kind to yourself.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Raven says:

    @lamh35: Read my #25 in this thread and let me know what you think, please.

  123. 123
    RSA says:

    @Schlemizel:

    My wife started bringing the books home, a friend at work lent them to her. I read the first one & loved the set up & liked the story OK. The problem was I started liking each book less than the last.

    This was my experience exactly. The first was okay for the genre, but my interest fell off very quickly. My memory is that Sookie is way too accepting of the abuse she gets from creatures that any reasonable person would want to see exterminated.

  124. 124
    Raven says:

    Jack Klugman RIP.

  125. 125
    BGinCHI says:

    @Steeplejack: OK, will advise when I get it finished. It looks terrific.

    GoT is worth it.

    One thing you might do is rob a bank. If you get away with it, you’re rolling in dough.

    But if you get caught, you’ll do some minimum security time where you can read and catch up on TV series.

    Win/win.

  126. 126
    BGinCHI says:

    @Raven: That line sounds like a hit man in an Elmore Leonard novel.

    What the F you doing in Lynchburg?

    Falwell is well and truly dead, brother.

  127. 127
    Anya says:

    @Raven: What a remarkable man. Thanks for sharing his story.

    It’s grounding to know that people who are alive today lived in a legally segregated America. Our country owes him a debt of gratitude.

  128. 128
    Schlemizel says:

    @RSA:

    I also got sick of all the oddball mythical creatures being dragged in. While it was sort of interesting to think of the various societal tensions between, say, Vampires and werewolves (so did Twilight steal this notion from here?) at some point it got to be too much.

    I would love to read stories about vampires being brought out of the closet by artificial blood and ‘normals’ trying to deal with them but without all the other BS.

  129. 129
    Raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Wife is a Appomattox. Her sis teaches at Tech and her brother is still in Appo so we run between Blacksburgh and here for a couple of days. It’s important to her and with trips to Maui and the Gulf that yielded big fish I have zero complaints. We do breakfast and drive back to Athens in the mornin. Good day for driving on 85.

  130. 130
    Raven says:

    @Anya: I cannot describe the gentle integrity in this man. And his wife was great. They asked about out xmas plans and I said “We’ll have breakfast in Appomattox, Oyster Stew and such”. She laughed and said ” That’s a white folks thing”! It was great.

    eta I just looked her up, the name is Phyllistine !

    She currently serves on no less than eight boards, participates in 19 community service activities, and is an active member of six organizations. Clearly, retirement has no place in this lady’s life.

    She serves CHAP—the Coalition of HIV Awareness and Prevention & HIV Youth Conference and works with the Centra Foundation affiliate MAAM or Mammograms Annually a Must, to help fund free mammograms for women who cannot afford an exam. Phyllistine is a CASA volunteer; serves on the Tourism Advisory Board; is a member of the Lynchburg Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; spearheaded the Juneteenth celebrations in Lynchburg since 2002 and teaches youth about the Underground Railroad, Kwanzaa and nutrition programs through the Legacy Museum Activity Center. She was recently appointed president of the Legacy Museum board of directors.

  131. 131
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    12 Angry Men – he did good work and what a cast!
    There was a Twilight Zone where he plays a pool hustler who wants a shot at the late king of the game
    I remember a movie from the early 60’s he did with Judy Garland – don’t remember the movie much but his part sticks in my mind.

    Did a lot of TV not much of the big screen I guess

  132. 132
    onlymike says:

    @debit:Thanks. I’ll do that. I haven’t been evicted yet – I’m in the thirty day process (it’ll be early January when I’m actually out). So I have a place to stay for now but I’m out of everything. I called a friend/acquaintance for help with cat food and litter and I’m awaiting a call back. Unfortunately I haven’t spoken to her in over a year and now I’m calling her to ask for a favor (waiting until things are desperate is a specialty of mine.) I didn’t intend to become so isolated but I’ve let it happen knowing what the consequences would be. I reached the point where unopened mail piles up and the telephone goes unanswered and I’ve known that this would be the logical conclusion of such behavior.

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @onlymike:

    I make a Christmas donation to Arizona R.E.S.C.U.E. for my mom every year — you may want to call them and see if they have any advice or referrals. Anne Laurie is always happy to do pet blegs — you can e-mail her at the link on the right-hand side with her name on it.

    And, speaking from my own experience, not being able to motivate yourself to do anything despite extremely negative consequences screams “undiagnosed major depression.” Any way you could get yourself screened for depression soon? Though I’m sure social services in Arizona are crap, unfortunately.

  134. 134
    parsimon says:

    @Schlemizel: I do remember that Twilight Zone episode well! He was a very good actor.

  135. 135
    PurpleGirl says:

    TCM is showing Auntie Mame at midnight. (One of my all time favorite movies.)

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Ahem.

    Hey, all the trolls are away for the holidays, so us jackals have to pile on someone.

  137. 137
    onlymike says:

    @debit: this is the third time i’ve tried to respond – a combination of my computer acting up and my inexperience at posting. Thanks I’ll e-mail AL. I haven’t actually been evicted yet – I’m in the 30 day period so I have a place until early January. I’m out of everything though – I called a friend/acquaintance for help with cat food and litter – she said she’d call me today/evening. Unfortunately I haven’t spoken to her in over a year and when I do call her it’s to ask for a favor. I didn’t intend to become so isolated but i’ve let it happend knowing what the consequences would be. I reached the point where unopened mail piled up and the telephone went unanswered and now i’m at the logical conclusion of that kind of behavior

  138. 138
    Alison says:

    @onlymike: I’ve been there (am semi-there now, really) – self-isolation is a tricksy thing because it feeds on itself, and often gets out of hand before you even have a chance to notice it. I absolutely don’t want to play armchair psychiatrist but I will just say, it sounds like you could really benefit from talking with someone, even just a counselor or if you belong to a religion, someone at a church/temple/mosque/etc. Just someone you could feel safe being open with, who won’t judge you and will try to help. Just because you may have let things go further than they “should” have does not mean you do not deserve help, nor that you can’t come back from where you are. I know, boy do I know, how hard it can be to forgive ourselves and be kind to ourselves, but I hope you will try.

  139. 139
    rikyrah says:

    Merry Christmas Everyone:)

    I hope to see Les Miserables either tomorrow or Wednesday.

    As for tv, I have every episode of Nashville – should I watch it?

    I tried Copper – just didn’t like it.

  140. 140
    PurpleGirl says:

    OnlyMike — You may want to look up this website:

    https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

    It is a cognitive therapy self-help program developed in Australia. It’s free to use. It isn’t a replacement for therapy but a good adjunct. I was encouraged to use it by the Behavioral Health group of Elmhurst Hospital Center (NYC).

    ETA: I’m suggesting it because I realize that AZ doesn’t support much in the way of mental health programs.

  141. 141
    onlymike says:

    okay that last one i just saw after submitting that the previous one (that I got a message telling me hadn’t gone through) was there after all so this i am going to blame on FYWP. Still trying to catch up on the rest of the thread and at the rate I’m going I’ll be doing this all night

  142. 142
    EmanG says:

    Hey JC:

    Long time lurker, rare commentator. Just want to say that there are (I believe) many hundreds of us who just want to say, Thanks for the conversation, for the level headed (occasionally) commentary for being such a fuck it all, I’ma doing it my way, goddamned brave soul.

    You make it better for so many of us.

    Carry on and godspeed!

  143. 143
    lamh35 says:

    @Raven: wow that was a remarkable story. my grandfather was in the Army during Vietam he’s buried in the army cemetery in Biloxi. I have a number of family currently serving & who served in the past. it never ceases to amaze me what my people had to endure before the end of segregation, things we would never even think of being comfortable with today.

  144. 144
    Raven says:

    @lamh35: Take a look at this page I ran across the other day when I was explaining shit burning to someone here

    http://www.vietnamsoldier.com/.....temId=2868

    I had very similar experiences as this blog owner did with brothers. When I was in there was a split. Militant brothers who would have nothing to do with white folks outside of what was required. There were also plenty of guys that were totally comfortable hanging with grey dudes that, I like to think, genuine. Seeing what the military did to people based on race and class never left me. Neither will some of the friendships that, unfortunately, could have only existed in the Army.

  145. 145
    Rhubarb says:

    @onlymike: I so hate it that you’re having such a hard time. I wish I weren’t so far away. I’ve been in your state of mind (not so far away still) and hope that you and your kitties come through all right. Virtual hugs, poor things that they are.

  146. 146
    Steeplejack says:

    @onlymike:

    What Mnemosyne said. I have been in a situation almost the same as yours, and it is capital-D depression at work. I know it’s incredibly hard to motivate yourself to do anything. Is there anyone you can reach out to who can help you sort of “externally” motivate yourself or help get things done for you?

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: good news about your Dad! Nice!

    Alas, we’re having a lousy Xmas Eve here with our old cat who has been losing weight steadily for a few weeks and since this afternoon is refusing to eat anything but crumbled-up ham slices. She’s 17, has thyroid problems, persistent respiratory goo, and doesn’t walk right as it is. She already had a vet appointment for 12/26 and fingers crossed she makes it that long. Aargh. Stupid fucking Xmas.

  148. 148
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @onlymike: Also, best wishes to you.

  149. 149
    Raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig: We had to take one of our doggies to the emergency vet yesterday morning. His eyes were all screwed up but it turned out just to be some kind of allergy. Hope this works out for you.

  150. 150
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Raven: Good to hear that Bohdi is okay and that the problem was an allergy. Give him a bunch of extra hugs for the BJ crowd.

  151. 151
    Librarian says:

    I’m single, live alone, and both my parents are deceased. So I’ve decided that from now on I’m not traveling or otherwise having anything to do with the holidays, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I have for a long time hated this time of year anyway. Right now I’m listening to the Stones’ “Exile on Main Steet” CD.

  152. 152
    Raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: He’s all scrunched up next to the princess sleeping away in the Holiday in rack. I’m on the little couch watching football with Lil Bit!

  153. 153
    Anne Laurie says:

    @onlymike: Sent you an email — if it’s okay with you, I’ll front-page a post tomorrow chaining your comments together, see if we can find a new home for your cats.

    Sorry you’re going thru this, especially at the butt end of the year.

  154. 154
    onlymike says:

    thanks all. I know i have major depression but i ignore it (i’m not depressed when i just ignore it but of course the problem just gets worse not better) I’ve been through all of this before twice actually. But in the past i was able to pick myself up after bottoming out and get back to a place where i was minimally functional. I was in therapy and on meds for a while through the VA (a veteran but not a combat veteran) but i just gave up on it. I think it’s different this time because of my age maybe (56) it’s harder to believe i have a future at this point. I have limited skills and for the last five years or so have not been able to hold a job. I’ve been fired three times since 05 – one job hired me back and fired me again. I have a thin resume to put it gently but if i could actually get to the interview stage i had it – i can seem intelligent and even charming on first impression and looked about a decade younger than i was – but now i just look old and lost and everyone can see it.

  155. 155
    debit says:

    @onlymike: You’re doing the right thing by reaching out now. It’s hard to imagine when you self isolate, but there are people who care about you, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been in contact. Voice of experience here.

    Don’t beat yourself up, okay? There’s nothing you can do tonight or tomorrow because of the holiday, so hug your cats, and hold tight. Wednesday you can try some of the links or suggestions in this post, and if nothing pans out, come back and we’ll brainstorm.

  156. 156
    rikyrah says:

    watching and crying at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life.

    gets me everytime.

    :” Clarence…I want to live again…”

  157. 157
    Raven says:

    @onlymike: Get your butt back to the VA. People there know what you are going through and they give a shit. Don’t be giving up.

  158. 158
    onlymike says:

    @Anne Laurie: Thankyou so much I’ll checkmy e-mail.

  159. 159
    Steeplejack says:

    @Librarian:

    You bad-ass, you!

    Seriously, rock on. Everyone should do what they want for the holidays.

  160. 160
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Raven: Thx. We’ve worked every angle we know over the past few weeks — really, all told, months. One day at a time, I suppose. Glad yours worked out.

  161. 161
    onlymike says:

    Phantom/Goofyboy/Spoob is sitting looking up at me doing his best impression of a Walter Keane painting – he’s really quite good at it. They’re both awesome cats and don’t deserve this

  162. 162
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Happy Day to all BJ ers.

    This morning I survived being the oldest person in a performance of the Nutcracker on Ice (important role — Party Guest) with no ass skating. Maybe next year I’ll be good enough to join the 6 year olds who portrayed the Rats!

    Tonight my husband took over Xmas Eve dinner from his 89 year old mother with a great oyster casserole. Tomorrow we’ll have Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Crepes and probably watch O Brother Where Art Thou (somehow a XmasTradition).

    Be safe, take care of yourselves, enjoy those who love you and whom you love.

  163. 163
    Raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I can only sympathize. I know you are doing your best, one step forward two steps backs.

  164. 164
    Helen says:

    @Raven: Hey Raven. Just wanna say Thanks. For lots. For watching Morning HO so I don’t have to. For your service to our country. For proving that one can get out of those messes and make something of themselves – Mr. Ph.D. But mostly for your comments. I was at FDL when you were there years ago. I respected you then. I wasn’t around when you got banned. I gave up when Jane made fun of me whan I told her that Weiner’s place may very well taken by a Republican. I live in his (former) district. Jane laffed and laffed at me. Well, the joke’s on her.

    Happy Holidays Raven.

  165. 165
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: please tell me where I can send a check for litter and food (and maybe some for you). You are not alone.

  166. 166
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Klugman had a couple of all-time classic “Twilight Zone” episodes, including “In Praise of Pip” and “A Passage for Trumpet.”

  167. 167
    onlymike says:

    @Raven: thanks I know that’s what i need to do (and have needed to do.) At this point it’s difficult to leave the apartment at all. I have a car that I haven’t driven in over a year. It’s now just sitting in the parking lot with expired tags and a dead battery.

  168. 168
    Mnemosyne says:

    @onlymike:

    Get yourself back to the VA and get some treatment — that’s what they’re there for.

    Stay open to the idea that the depression may be a symptom of something else. I struggled with low-grade depression for years, finally treated it successfully, and then discovered that I kept getting depressed because I had untreated ADHD and my constant screw-ups because of it were what was triggering the depression.

    Late diagnosis of ADHD is pretty common since a lot of people with inattentive type weren’t recognized when they were in school. Try a quick survey like this one and see if you recognize anything.

  169. 169
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: OMG please get help. I take a couple of pills every day so I can leave my house, but they work. Xanax extended release is a life saver.

  170. 170
    Svensker says:

    @onlymike:

    Listen to these folks. They really do care and they really will try to help. And a big cyber hug from me.

    Deep in the heart of family pathology for Christmas and feeling weepy and sentimental — and envious of John! High maintenance peeps are high maintenance.

    Thanks to all here for being such good eggs. Even when you’re assholes, you’re good eggs. And that goes double for our host.

    xxoo everybody!

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, Operation Gift Card Holder had to be abandoned since I looked at them when I had one holder almost completed and realized that the damn things are an odd (larger) size because I was lazy and bought them from Ralphs instead of buying them at Target. So I said the heck with it and am trying to make myself a Twin Cities Headband instead. We’ll see how it goes.

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    Publius39 says:

    @Raven: That’s interesting. I’m black and I’ve had some interesting experiences regarding race in the military, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that they would have never happened in the civilian world.

  173. 173
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: Thanks so much. I’m hoping this friend will come through for me so that i don’t have to do that. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the offer to help. I should have reached out earlier. Even though I’ve only lurked to this point I do feel like a part of the BJ community – this is the first place i come to in the morning and usually the last place i check out at night. After the Gabby Giffords shooting this was the first place I came – I felt like i needed to be here with you guys and felt that way again after Newtown. I love all the FPers but I think I love the commenters even more. I wish Ugg the Repug commented here though. Otherwise the perfect site. I say come for the pet pictures, stay for the politics or maybe it’s the other way around.

  174. 174
    Ruckus says:

    @onlymike:
    You and I sound like we are in very similar circumstances. Have to move in 30 days or less, had to send my dog back to the rescue org, am setting here just passing time. Am a few years older but can’t find a job. The VA has been a life saver for me and I also am a non-combat vet.
    Get yourself back to the VA, they can and will help, you know that. There are so many stories like ours that can turn out OK but we have to take the first step. I know very well how hard it is to put that one foot out there and follow it up with the other but it is what we have. I don’t have any words of wisdom, just words of encouragement. You have done this before, you can do it again. As my dad once told me, don’t let the bastards win. Ever. This has served me well on a number of occasions. I hope it does for you. And one thing you got me to think about that again and maybe that’s the one thing that I need.
    Good luck, keep us informed. This is a great group of people(well most of them!) and there is an immense amount of good karma to draw on, don’t be afraid to do just that.

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    eclare says:

    @onlymike: please if your friend doesn’t come through, let me know. I’m serious. I have two dogs and a cat, all rescues, we all love our pets, and everyone else’s.

  176. 176
    onlymike says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve thought for years that I have ADHD but it’s generally been dismissed when I’ve suggested it – including the therapist i was dealing with at the VA. I’m not sure why. But I definitely do think that my depression is a symptom of something deeper. I also have agoraphobia and mild OCD. I never thought that I had OCD until fairly recently and that’s not something I ever discussed with a therapist. I’ve come to realize that things I thought were just “eccentricities” that i was in control of are actually in control of me. It’s not the kind of behavior you see on movies or TV so I didn’t think I had it. The same with the agoraphobia. If I step outside I the it’s not like Sigourney Weaver in Copycat with everything spinning and she’s paralyzed with fear. But I don’t leave the apartment unless I absolutely have to and then I put it off and put it off. For a while I was going out at night (around 3am) every night to feed the stray cats in the apartment complex (it’s one of those pay weekly or monthly places) but I quit doing that when the money ran out and have barely been out since. Lots of people leave their cats behind here – it’s heartbreaking. There was in particular a beautiful long haired calico that I came to think of as my third cat. I feel bad about not being able to feed him anymore but I don’t think I was the only one doing it thankfully. Even though I never had a lease I’ve lived here so long I knew they would have to go through the court system to evict me so that’s given me some extra time.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @eclare:

    You’re a good person.

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    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I will I promise. Thanks again. I am starting to get a little concerned but I think she’s working tonight so I don’t want to bother her right now.
    Thanks again

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    onlymike says:

    Just wanted to add: when I checked AL’s e-mail I saw that I had gotten a pro-gun spam e-mail from someone identified as Dudly Brown with anecdotes about different people who were able to save themselves because they were armed. Anyone else getting anything like that?

  180. 180
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Promise me. I’m in central time, so I’m signing off, but I will check this thread tomorrow. Sounds like we have a lot of the same issues, had a panic attack on I40, and that completely shut me down for a while. Again, although I Hate the pills, they work. Winston Churchill, when you’re going through hell, keep going. Please keep going.

  181. 181
    onlymike says:

    Just googled him: Dudley Brown of the National Association for Gun Rights. He’s a lobbyist and director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. Don’t know why I’d be on his list. I deleted it.

  182. 182
    onlymike says:

    @Ruckus: Thanks I know I have to do that but it is hard. So sorry to hear about having to return your dog – that must have been a brutal experience – I know I’m going to miss my guys terribly.

  183. 183
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I will I promise. I’m wondering if I should call my friend at work just so I know where I stand – it’s nearly 11pm here but she’ll be working until midnight if she’s working tonight.

  184. 184
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: tomorrow is Christmas, so that’s out. But if you need litter and food, I can FedEx a check or Target gift card to you on Wednesday. If it would help, I’d be happy to do it.

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @onlymike:

    A lot of people still think of ADHD as something that only affects children and that adults can’t have it, but psychologists are slowly coming around. It also took quite a while for doctors to realize that the “H” (hyperactivity) part is actually just one of several different forms. It really does require a sit-down test with a trained psychologist to properly diagnose it, but I’m guessing the VA doesn’t have a lot of those around.

    If the only thing you can get is a depression diagnosis right now, ask if you’re a good candidate for Wellbutrin (it has some major contraindications). It’s not as good for ADHD as a stimulant like Ritalin, but it’s one of the better antidepressants for people with ADHD, so it’s worth a try. As I said, it took a long time with therapy and medication to resolve my depression so we could figure out that ADHD was underneath it, so you may need to get the depression down to a manageable level before you can figure out if there are any underlying issues.

    (To be clear, I am NOT a medical professional of any kind, just someone who’s been in therapy and taken medication and read up on it. So any and all recommendations by me should be discussed with a real doctor. :-)

  186. 186
    Ruckus says:

    @onlymike:
    One of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But I managed and the dog is actually in a better place for him. So I’ve got that going for me.
    You are the only one who knows how hard all of this is for you but just remember, you have gotten help before. You can do it, you know that.
    The fact that you are here and telling us about yourself is good. You’ve taken the first step. Just go another step and get to the VA. Each step is a small one that you can do. Don’t worry about the step after this one.

  187. 187
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: well i’m starting to think my friend may not come through after all. I can get through tomorrow so I;ll be okay for now. Thank you. I may still need your help. I do really appreciate it. I think I’ll spend tomorrow reading My Year of Flops at the Onion AV Club and watching TV and just not worrying about anything for the next 24.

  188. 188
    onlymike says:

    @Mnemosyne:I’m going to try to get over to the VA Hospital after tomorrow. It’s not very far from where I am.

  189. 189
    JoyfulA says:

    @onlymike: If you were here in Pennsylvania, I’d gladly give the lovely cats a home and introduce you to the social worker* I know who works with people who are down on their luck; then when you had your act together, you could readopt your kitties.** So the invitation is open if you can get your car running and want to take a trip.

    If the car and/or trip can’t be managed, give me an address like you do eclare, and I’ll send some help along.

    *We volunteered as overnight hosts at a church homeless shelter her group supervised and saw her get several people self-sufficient; many of our other guests worked every day and stayed with us to get enough cash together to rent a place. I’m not physically able to host anymore, but my Christmas present to my family of origin every year is a check to this group.

    **Of course, they’d be spoiled rotten because my husband insists that a cat has to be able to go outside and look around.

  190. 190
    Jane2 says:

    @onlymike: can you get to a Walmart? I can send an e-gift card that you can print and use.

  191. 191
    ruemara says:

    @onlymike: Please accept help now. I watched my ex become homeless due to depression and managed to ruin his life, my life and my health. And he still won’t accept that he has depression. You know it can get worse, so don’t hesitate. I wish I could help your cats or you, out, but I will send you good will and whatever an agnostic has that counts as prayers. Plus, get your butt back to the VA, where they can help you.

  192. 192
    Ruckus says:

    @onlymike:
    Good for you. Let us know how that works out.

    If you need help before Wednesday you can call the VA 24/7/365 hotline, 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

  193. 193
    Raven says:

    @Helen: Hi Helen, I hope you check back!

  194. 194
    Montarvillois says:

    Promised to train travel and see Sis today but postponed the visit to New Years. Now I’m thinking Little Xmas. Cat sitters aren’t available. Second year in a row alone Xmas day. Not so bad, snug as a bug in a rug and might do some computer bridge. Salmon on the menu.

  195. 195
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @General Stuck: Dang! I always knew Agnes of God was a pun on the Latin Agnus Dei, but I thought nobody else caught it. Now I read a review of the movie (which I never saw), and the reviewer notes it in the first sentence. Anyway, I collect Agnus Deii, and this one is new to me. Thanx

  196. 196
    Denali says:

    Merry Christmas, John Cole !

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