Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Merry Xmas

Happy holidays to all. As a special treat to you, dear readers, I have posted the fruit of another month or so of musical experimentation. I have uploaded 11 new songs, attached at the bottom of my music list on the right hand side of the page. They include new songs such as “You Define Me,” as well as a ballad I wrote 15 years ago called “Death in Venice,” and an experimental piece called “The Plane That Took Her To Heaven.” Enjoy! And merry Christmas!

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Happy New Year

Also, I owe Jesus a belated happy birthday. I just spent the week in Oklahoma with relatives, and did not post much about my trip. It’s enough to say that Xander had a great time reuniting with his relatives, and shopping in OKC. I spent the flight home yesterday contending with a stomach bug while my toddler kicked me in the belly. A less-than-auspicious end to a wonderful trip.

I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year. I am sorry again for my slack postings, and I’m happy that a handful of you have chosen to keep coming back here, whether it’s for my poems or my Xander photos or just to learn the definition of the word “decathect.” (According to my counter, this post won me more viewings this year than any other article I wrote. That should let you know what the Web community’s priorities are. They not only want to see cat videos and spread political gossip, but they refuse to be one-upped by their friends when it comes to the Word of the Day calendar.)

I’ve mostly had a wonderful year, if a busy one, readjusting to life as a parent while trying to continue living the life of a writer. Before Xander learned to walk, I had completed some seven screenplays since his birth. Since June, however, that number has fallen to zero. Xander has only left me enough time to edit some old novels I wrote, and though I hoped to publish these on Kindle in 2012, it’s now looking like I’ll have to hold off a bit longer. I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress, but suffice it to say that my blog will likely suffer as a result. I’ll just let you imagine what you are missing: Had I been writing every day for the past two weeks, you would have heard nothing but ranting about gun proliferation, the evil of the NRA, and the rank stupidity of defending assault weapon ownership. So, just imagine all that.

I’m going to be entering 2013 the same way I entered 2012: with a whimper. I’ll be with my family, thanking God I’ve got it so good. I’ll be thinking of the victims of the Newtown shooting. If I didn’t say it enough here, let me be clear: It devastated me.  If you’re reading this tonight, don’t take it for granted: Be very happy you are alive.

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Valentine’s Day Sentiments

What do our Valentine’s Day cards say?

–*You are my heart.

–*You are my soul.

–*You are my kidneys.

–*You are the person I have grown to love after I settled for you.

–*Love is like two souls joining. Especially in this community property state of Wisconsin.

–*Top ten reasons you are the only one for me, No. 7:  I don’t really need another public divorce, Love Ronald Perelman.

–*Like Philadelphia, I love you back, but unlike Philadelphia, I am not the meth capital of the U.S.

–*I’m sorry, I am giving the rose to Courtney.

–*I’m giving this Valentine’s Day card to you because my fifth grade teacher has ordered us to give cards to everybody else in the class, and thus I have fulfilled my legal obligation.

–*Valentine’s Day is not just a fake holiday invented by the greeting card industry. It’s also an extra reason for single people to feel awful.

–*I’m pretty sure that this Valentine’s Day card to you, my love, does not violate the restraining order, but if it does, please disregard.

–*Few people know what love really is. But I do. It’s part of the male posturing process among monkeys to dominate other males in order to propagate their DNA.

–*Monkey see, monkey do, roses are red and I love you.

–*Let’s drop the pretense. Let’s do it!

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Dear long-suffering Beauty is Imperfection reader:

You probably feel lately like my son Xander looks in this picture, asking, “Where is Eric? Where are the freakin’ blogs? What did I do? What is happening to me?” If you are still reading, you must crave my abuse like love. I thank you for that. If you’ve been checking in and missing me for the past few months, I apologize.

I confess that although I have been a prolific writer in the latter half of 2012, it was not here. I know that a blogger makes a sort of social contract with you to keep you updated on his doings, attitudes, new thoughts, etc. Indeed, I sat down a couple of times to offer my thoughts on Occupy Wall Street, the Republican primaries, etc. … but often I let these unfinished posts sit on my server through the fall as I labored as a work-at-home father. Even the Christopher Hitchens article I posted earlier tonight was two weeks old. I had it 70% written on the day his death was announced, and I let it sit, unable to get it Christopher Hitchens perfect before I went home to Oklahoma to enjoy Christmas with my family. For most of the fall, I was working on fiction–doing rewrites of the five novels I’ve got on my hard drive. This has been difficult enough to do with a baby, but doing it and being a full-time blogger has been almost impossible. I am considering publishing these novels myself in 2012 as soon as I have a couple of professional editors look them over. (This includes the serial “Letters to My Imaginary Friend, Leticia,” which was first published on this blog.) When that time comes for my books to arrive in your Kindle, I’ll let you, my readers, know right here. You’re special that way!

The thing I most wish I’d done is spent some time talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I think it’s one of the most interesting political developments of the last decade, and yet it was something I never went to see for myself in my own city. Mainly this is because of my new family and work situation, which made it impossible to go out. But also I feel, as I get older, that I no longer have to be at the “in” happening to understand it or take what I need from it intellectually. I watched the videos and read the blogs and heard the arguments. So I might add that I also refrained from talking about Occupy Wall Street because even though I agreed with the general idea, I was skeptical about specifics of the movement, which were precious few. My first drafts about it thus turned out curiously negative about the entire venture, and at the risk of being misconstrued without time to perfect it, I let the piece languish in my computer’s sleeping brain. I might publish it later as is or with the promise of a follow up, but at this point, it would be a little bit like staircase wit to talk about OWS, the drum pits and the fetching naked girls dancing about for economic equality, which is apparently what it takes these days to get the subject on CNN.

I had a wonderful Christmas; it was very important to me to go home because my son got to meet his relatives–the large extended family I grew up with in Oklahoma City. I was blessed to have all my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins grow up in the same town with me (symmetrically arrayed on both mother’s and father’s side). The family I grew up with has just about everything in it: rich, poor, intellectual, down home, cosmopolitan, alcoholic, certifiably crazy and criminal … you name it. And though I left home at 18, I have never taken for granted what they offered me as a kid: My entire psychological makeup comes from having all these points of light on a string. The idea that Xander wouldn’t have as many contributors to his development as I did … especially now that I have moved away and my parents are not alive … well, it makes me too sad, and makes my trips home that much more important and poignant. I especially enjoyed some talks with my 84-year-old grandfather about his life, which I hope to share in memoirs eventually. We had two new babies this year, Xander and his cousin Scarlett, and though I always love my family’s attention, this year I was greedy only for the babies to have it.

Stephanie and Xander and I are spending this New Year’s at home recovering from Christmas illnesses we picked up in Oklahoma. Tonight we’re spending New Year’s Eve in our apartment and keeping it low key. I don’t feel the need to be anywhere other than with my little family and appreciate the things I have. But if you are reading this, then I’ll also say I appreciate you, dear reader. My postings will probably remain sparse, but hopefully I can do a little better than I have recently.

Have a happy New Year.

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April Fools!

I couldn’t resist using the photo one more time, though. If you hadn’t tuned in today, the following four posts were part of my special April Fools’ edition.

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This year, my sister-in-law Kathy served us this cake for Christmas. It’s a true Willy Wonka creation, almost every part of it edible, even the parquet floor under the chimney.

Kathy makes these creations with ganache and fondant. I’m not sure what these things are, but I’m pretty sure they were stolen from the Germans and chemical company IG Farben at the end of World War II, along with the country’s rocket technology, in “Operation Paperclip.”  Asking Kathy her trade secrets will likely get you a Vulcan nerve pinch and a swift death.

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–*Independent filmmaker Barbie with a can of the wrong ASA film to throw at your freakin’ head.

–*Ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer Barbie

–*Barbie with septicemia from a hard-to-close wound

–*Video camera Barbie with a real camera stuffed in her decolletage, a doll that allows you to videotape yourself and allows your parents to spy on the baby sitter (she’s admissible in court!)

–*Expert witness against predators Barbie (she’s adorable in court!)

–*Bratz Barbies (she’s easy to pass off as a competing brand)

–*Licensing Barbie (making sure you’re not violating her intellectual property and trademarks)

–*Health care quality control specialist Barbie (making sure you’re out of the hospital in two days)

–*Medical lab tech Barbie (making sure the insurance companies are getting charged for unnecessary procedures)

–*Top 2% Barbie (she’s making 433 times more income than the lowest 50%)

–*Mullet and rat-tail Barbie. She doesn’t need money. She’s got love and smokes.

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