it's about having an inner light, and i got me some

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

tonight was the first night of hannukah.  and, sadly, my 2011 streak continued with bad news tracking holiday celebration like a sniper on a rooftop on a clear day.

but tonight was a little different.  because this holiday is about a miracle of light, and i got me some of that.


on a trip to the virgin islands as a young kid, my brother (2 years older) and i, befriended another boy around our age at the communal pool at the resort.  We were "holiday friends" and the whole experience really centered around having people to horse around with more than the fostering of what might become a decade long pen-pal correspondence (remember pen pals!).  It was mostly normal kid stuff.  Until . . .  and I don't remember the details, but that kid had a younger sister, who was just young enough to not yet be old enough to be "fun."  i don't remember teasing her.  I wasn't that kind of kid.  Could we all have been leaving her out, totally.  Hell, you know what, we might have teased her.  I can't even try to defend the 11 year old me (approx. age).  Anyway, i definitely don't remember there being an acute incident of her getting upset.

What i do remember was the kid's father coming into the pool area (my childhood brain recorded his arrival as: "from out of nowhere") and starting to scream at my brother and me.  His face was red and he was really digging into us about how ashamed we should be of ourselves and bad kid this yadda yadda yadda.  he didn't scream at his son.  This. was. shocking.

We were not the kind of kids who got screamed at much.  we were, well, dorks.  But more than that, our parents very rarely brought the hammer down.  I mean, i think they punished accordingly--no real harm, no real foul.  So this guy screaming at us out of nowhere was jolting.  And here's what i remember.  I remember my brother saying back, "Your not our father!" and us running back to our room.

Back in the room we told our parents what happened.  They were, in a word, furious.  "NO ONE screams at you but us!" i recall my father saying, totally supportive and without seeing the irony (i didn't yet know what irony was, so that was just good parenting.)  And that lesson stuck.   It's akin to  "no one puts baby in the corner," except with your soul.

There will always be doubters, and worriers, and haters, but don't you dare fuck with my ner tamid.  You need permission to criticize one's character, and that right is one that must be earned.

So this hannukah.  this celebration of the light that endured. I protect my own light.  and frankly, im growing it.  So as i watch those candles multiplying night by night, i remember that the light in my soul has been around for years.  and its been multiplying and multiplying.  it burns with a vigor that that will not be extinguished.  Not by anyone.

there are days which seem dark and strung together.  its during those stretches when one's light is tested.   This hannukah, my light will endure.

Back in the Saddle

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes, as a writer, you are cursed with an uneventful period; where you don't feel like anything is worthy of getting down on paper (or virtual paper).  Im not sure this is a "thing" or just something that happens to me, but either way, i am not in such a phase.

I have somehow found myself in the opposite situation.  Too much life in my life.  Too much real  in my life.  And its just beyond the scope of what i use this blog for; its not therapy. its more performance.  Granted, its a personal performance of my life.  But i push on.  By the numbers.

1.  This headline is seriously NOT OK (it is so serious a violation that i am using caps, bold, italics, and underline!)

Are you f'n kidding me.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  I rarely hope for someone to be fired around "the holidays," but holy shit i hope someone was sent packing at msnbc for this garbage pun from dumb-dumb city.

2.  I know that the TV business is an unpredictable one.  Tons of pilot episodes are made, and only a select few even make a debut.  Of those that make it on air, they then have to survive the court of public opinion.  Well, at least in theory. I mean, the show Community is god damn genius and its still apparently up for cancellation, so who knows what drives this approval process.  All this being said, I have never been more confident of a shows imminent demise, pre-airing, than the new show "Rob!" Why will this show be cancelled quickly?  I need me some bullet points.
  • Rob Schneider is the Rob they are referring to.
  • The actual title of the show actually has an upside down exclamation mark in front of Robs name, because he's joining a Spanish speaking family.  Yes, i can't even type the name of this show without going into "symbols" in my fonts.  And that's not something i do for Rob Schneider's comedy.
  • When i type Rob! into google, zero of the entries on the first page reference this show.
  • When i type "Rob! tv show" into google, the 6 and 7th entry talk about this show (7 is imdb).  None of these hits are the show's page.
  • this is imdb's description of the shows storyline, "Centers on solitary guy, Rob, who marries into a huge Mexican-American family"
  • none of the promo's for the show are funy.  if you can't cut together 20 seconds of funny to draw people in.  you're in big trouble long-term.
In the interest of "fair and balanced," they do have Cheech cast as the family's father.  I'm worried it's too little too late.  Not even Cheech could smoke enough to make this show a winner.

3.  I really have started to enjoy Christmas personally. I was thinking recently that the "worst part" of Christmas for me is that mol's parents have cats which i'm allergic to.  That's a huuuuuuuge improvement of attitude.  and its all mol and her family's doing.  They really make it fun and loving and warm. And i am looking forward to it.

4.  That said, the older i get, the crazier this country's reaction to Christmas is to me.  I mean, fundamentally speaking, if you put all the effects of, um . . . Jesus's birth, and all it extends to: shopping, lights, radio broadcasts, tv specials, travel, tree cutting, school cancellation, cooking.  The US goes more gaga for "the holiday's" than they do for the woman named Gaga.  And i'm not saying that Hannukah is any better.  It's basically the same premise, just less popular locally.

Is it possible that just making a few weeks where the country on holiday (hell, maybe it focuses on the importance of family and friends and community) could be a really good thing.  I mean, nothing to fight over.  Everyone can agree on it's importance.  Now thats my holiday feeling.   We hide our love for each other in religious get-togethers, and we shouldn't need the excuse.

5.  Lastly, and on a completely different note, something for you football fans.  Tonight's monday night football match-up between the 49ers and the Steelers was completely dominated by the 49er's punter. (no, i don't learn punters names. OH, he's lucky, he was just on the screen, his names "Lee."  I'm assuming it's his last name, but i don't really care.  Again, he's a punter.)  This guy is launching 60 yard kicks that bounce straight up on the 5 yard line.  Over and over and over again.  The average starting field position for the Steeler's was the 15 yard line.  Worst since 2005.  Even when he only got a 50 yarder to the 35 yard line, the returner ran backwards 10 yard and they got a penalty putting them at the 12.   I can't remember ever saying this, but give that man the game ball.  He's the #1 reason the Steeler's didn't get in the end-zone tonight (the pass rush was reason #2).