She'll be my mirror, reflect who I am,
A loser and a winner, the king of Siam.
My Siamese twin, alone on the river,
Mirror kisses, mirror kisses...
"We are polite, and are not so much as humane." - Voltaire
I've been taking lots of books out of the library lately, and not all of them have been horror or science fiction. I especially liked the collection of Voltaire's writings, and the quote above caught my eye. It's probably more true today than it was when the man was alive; people (some people, anyway) will go out of their way to be politically correct, but not to be truly nice, or helpful, or caring.
Happy New Year, by the way. Heh... While I'd hoped very much to spend New Year's Eve with Gina, unfortunately she had to go away, and so I spent it in the company of Stephen King (in the form of the short-story collection "Skeleton Crew"), Rod Serling (in the form of the Sci Fi Channel's "Twilight Zone" marathon), and, briefly, Regis Philbin (who I have to say I enjoyed better than Dick Clark) instead. I had a Cider Jack or two, but the bottle of Moët & Chandon I'd purchased is going to have to wait 'til I can share it with my honey. Maybe over sushi. At least she was the first person I'd heard from this morning, via E-mail, wishing me a happy 2005. My New Year's Day consisted of doing some straightening up and cleaning, and shredding of some sensitive paperwork, as well as more reading, and of course updating the Web site.
I did get to see her on the morning of Christmas Eve, when she stopped by after having a procedure done on her eyes; we napped together for a while so she could rest her eyes before heading back home. And we got together on the 26th, along with Hannah, to exchange gifts. I didn't have too much notice, but I did manage to put together a decent meal of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and salad with ginger dressing for the three of us. Hannah paid Jon and Karin several visits in the living room, and she, her mom, and I played a game or two of Hi Ho! Cherry-O, which I'd given the pretty little girl. After they'd left, I found a stray cherry under the bed.
The weekend before, after getting my hair chopped at Astor Place, I was wandering around midtown Manhattan when I came across a deli and liquor store that was displaying a bottle of Samichlaus Bier in the window. This brew, with 14% alcohol, is not only exceptionally strong but also incredibly tasty! I'd come across it a few years before at Jekyll & Hyde, and, having found it again, I couldn't help picking up six bottles, though it set me back almost forty bucks (and I was asked for ID! Must've been the newly-cropped hair). My dad and uncle and I had three of 'em on Christmas Eve (my mom had a taste, and while she doesn't really like beer, she loved this stuff), I gave one to Jon and Karin to share, Gina had some from my bottle on the 26th, and I'm finishing the last one right now. It really is good stuff, even without the incredibly high (for beer) alcohol content. If Gina's stomach hadn't been bothering her a bit on Sunday, and she hadn't been driving, she probably would've had more...
I gave several of my friends and family members copies of Neil Postman's book "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business." I first heard about the book after buying Roger Waters' album "Amused to Death" back in '92, an incredible album ranking with any of Pink Floyd's best, in my humble estimation. Waters had been inspired by Postman's book, and I always meant to read it, though I didn't get around to getting my hands on a copy until ten years later. Once I had, I was spellbound. It's a very interesting call to arms against letting television take over as the source of knowledge and learning. Television is fine as a source of entertainment; it "serves us most usefully when presenting junk-entertainment; it serves us most ill when it co-opts serious modes of discourse... and turns them into entertainment packages." While some of the recipients of this particular gift may scratch their heads, I tend to agree with the author.
Ironically, I received a 14" flat-screen television (with built-in DVD) from my parents for Christmas, and won a TiVo at Microwize's Christmas party. ;) I had to do a bit of work to run the cable to my bedroom and to get the TiVo box registered, but the deed is done, and the box is now connected wirelessly to my network, so I can even play music and view pictures through the TV. I've not been much of a TV watcher of late, and I don't expect that to change, really. The TiVo and TV will make it easier for me to avoid missing "The Simpsons" and this last season of "Everybody Loves Raymond," and if there's a movie or program I'd like to see on at an inconvenient hour, I won't have to miss it, but my television consumption will most likely not increase appreciably as a result of the devices now hulking in my room. Maybe Gina and I will get a chance to do Movie Night at my place instead of hers now.
Other gifts I've received include Seal's "Best | 1991-2004" (from my honey, and to which I'm listening at the moment), "Tales of a Librarian" by Tori Amos and "Monty Python Sings," Kurt Vonnegut's "Fates Worse than Death," Aimee Mann's "live at St. Ann's Warehouse," and the DVDs "The Day After Tomorrow," "Young Frankenstein," and "Blazing Saddles," as well as some shirts and sweaters, and a little gold guitar charm. I'm getting together with Barbara tomorrow to exchange presents, and I have to see Dawn and Dave soon; I still have her birthday gifts!
The Samichlaus has run dry; time to move on to Cider Jack. I'm missin' my love,
but I've got her CD on the box and her smile on my mind. Going to make some pasta and meatballs
for myself now... I wish you all joy in the new... year.
- A (firstname.lastname@example.org)