The “In” Thing

Some fads I see these days leave me pretty baffled, at times. In short: I just don’t get it. Here’s a few, to which I reserve the right to add.

Sushi
Though sushi can consist of vinegared rice with any number of ingredients, I typically see it with raw fish. Raw fish. At its best it tastes like nothing. The real genius about making this an “in” thing is marking it up to sell at your bar along with $9 martinis. Tres sophistique. I *really* wish I would have thought of this one.

Atkins
The whole anti-carbs movement, in general, actually. Hasn’t this diet been pretty much established as the wrong way to KEEP weight off? And yet, the low-carb craze continues. The sheer amount of effort I see people put into carbohydrate management is frightening. If a fraction of the discipline were only directed toward moderate physical activity and a “reasonable” eating routine…

Poker
Okay, now I know I’m gonna take some heat on this one, but I’m serious. Yeah, it’s a good game, don’t get me wrong. But is it $200-poker-kit-I’m-having-a-texas-hold-’em-tournament-once-a-month-bring-your-personalized-visor good? I mean, the game’s been around for centuries. Why the sudden passion? If a table dispute were resolved with an eight-pace duel outside, I might be more interested. And playing poker is one thing, but how about watching it on television? It’s on ESPN incessantly; there are seemingly innumerable World Series in the professional poker world. I never was able to reconcile the fact that these best-of-the-best players wear shades that cover half their faces (though I must admit, someone did recently tell me that the “truly great” ones do not wear sunglasses). I’m thinking it’s a matter of time until a Hollywood pretty boy is tapped to star in a movie depicting one man’s rise to poker greatness against the backdrop of a budding romance, all to the sounds of the latest Top 40 Billboard hits. Tell me you can’t see it. Maybe I’m just bitter than the majority of my web blog spam comes from online casinos. Maybe that’s it.

Anyway, a little high-and-mighty’ish on this post, I know. And, after all, diversity makes the world go ’round. But, that said: I just don’t get it.

Christmas Mice

Well, Christmas is here, and with it have come those things which over the years have become indelibly branded onto my brain as signifying the arrival of the Christmas season. It’s funny how certain objects can bring seemingly forgotten memories racing to the forefront of one’s mind. This phenomenan is not limited to tangible items, either; there are sounds and smells that I have come to subconsciously associate with the queen of all family holidays.

One of the primary indicators in my folks’ house that Christmas is upon us is the Christmas Mice.

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Now, I’m not sure if it’s the fact that these mice have resided upon that same lamp every Christmas I have known or the fact that my dad seems so paternalistically attached to them, but they have taken on a role bigger than that of mere decoration; I’ve found their perennial emergence to invariably carry with it warm feelings of years past. Though in themselves only one example, the Christmas Mice are representative of those things which mark the holiday season.

In closing, I thought I’d list some of my Christmas favorites:

Favorite CD: John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together
(one thing that’s recently come to my attention: the later release of this album is absent THREE songs on the original, including such classics as “Lil’ Saint Nick” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”…so beware)

Favorite Show: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Favorite Movie: Die Hard (it counts!)
(yes, I considered “A Christmas Story;” it comes in a close second)

Favorite Food: anything in quantity (except for sweet potatoes)

Favorite Weather: snow (and lots of it)

All-Time Favorite Gift Received (adjusted for loss of kid-at-heartedness): probably the Capsela 1000 of yesteryear, maybe the original NES, maybe my 1st R/C car the Grasshopper…
(in all fairness, this year’s slot car sets have to be up there, too)

Merry Christmas, folks.

Slumbering Giant

63 years ago today, 361 Japanese warplanes attacked American airfields and shipyards at Pearl Harbor, disabling 19 ships, destroying 200 planes, and killing over 2300 men. The pre-emptive strike prompted this country to plunge headlong into the most destructive war in history. It was a defining moment, to be sure; one which ultimately marked the turning point in a war of unprecedented scale.
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