01 December 2015

A quick note to let you know what

Dear Bryan,

I’m sorry for the long silence… the holidays have attacked, and this leaves little time for urinaling (journaling); but I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know what I’ve been up to…

Mostly I’ve been spending my time reading… it is now winter here: the ground is covered with snow, so I can’t bike as much as I’d like to… there are a couple nice parks nearby which have trails that wind thru the woods, so I’m able to go on regular walks… but, like I said, I’ve mostly been reading…

Poetry as usual, some religious stuff, and a lot of plays… just now I was going to name each title specifically, but then I realized that it isn’t worth the effort… (tho every word I’ve written here is as effectual as a prayer to a long-dead king, so I don’t know what’s stopping me) …I like the books that I read, very much.

I don’t subscribe to any holidays, but I go wherever I’m invited… I enjoy seeing my family… we get along well… I like food… I like to have some wine and to chat and play games…

There is nothing in this world that I love more than arguments… so, while we were eating our holiday meal, I brought up the topic of politics… my hope was that a heated discussion would start… but my family is so well behaved that each member simply and briefly stated his or her view, and that was all… except my mom accused me of being a communist, because I oppose her ultra-conservatism and her religion…

I like the idea of a heavily regulated capitalism: a limit on too much wealth, as well as a limit on too much poverty. I prefer to see humankind strive for imaginative distinction rather than physical possessions. Note how I abandon ellipses and revert to full stops when I get uptight and begin to speechify. Please vote for me in the upcoming election.

I don’t understand how doctors and nurses keep at it… I mean, how do they perform their job, day after day? Why do they continue to save people? …I imagine that they are often tempted to say: “This patient is annoying—instead of curing him, let’s let him expire…”

But it is the season of giving thanks; so a competent surgeon cannot fire a revolver at her son during a holiday argument without feeling duty-bound to repair the very wound that she inflicts.

Have a happy festival, by the way. I don’t do Christmas—my siblings and I resigned from that madness long ago—but I like to imagine what things I’d buy for others if I were forced to go shopping… so I’ll end this letter with a list of thoughtful gifts:

  • For my brother Paul, a dual mount ceiling fan. Brushed nickel finish with glass lights. And I include three lime-green tinted bulbs, each separately giftwrapped.
  • For my sister-in-law Colleen, a chandelier to go with your husband Paul’s ceiling fan. Forged graphite finish.

(I should admit that I’m copying from an advertisement that happens to be lying in my eyesight as I write this… it’s a pamphlet for a hardware store, so I’m restricted in this year’s selection.)

  • For my sister Susan, an electric fireplace. Cappuccino laminate finish, with interchangeable wood and glass door panels. The finish on the panels is medium cherry.
  • For my mom, a paint sprayer. Sprays twenty-four gallons per minute. Includes metal spray tip and thirty-foot hose.

It strikes me that I’ve used up the best of the gifts from the ad already; so I’ll stop here, even though I’ve mentioned only the tip of the iceberg of family members deserving of Christmas merchandise; because I wouldn’t want the remaining loved ones to feel insulted if I were to offer them, for instance

  • a six-foot fiberglass step ladder “with side rails that won’t rust, decay, or conduct electricity”
  • interior paint and primer in one single can


  • a fifty-gallon trash receptacle (convenient dust pan on edge makes it easy to sweep into when on its side)

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