Just looking forward this time

 “Rows of lights in a circle of steel
Where you place your bets on a great big wheel
High windows flickerin’ down through the snow
A time you know
Sights and sounds of the people goin’ ’round
Everybody’s in step with the season”

So, yesterday was my birthday. I am now 40 years old. Allow me just a moment to say DAaammm…. I truly never expected to get to be this old. I’m not freaked out by it, or depressed, or anything like that, but I am surprised. Very surprised.
I did spend some time thinking about, and writing about how different my 30th birthday was different from my 4oth. Of course, this got me to thinking about what I’d like to be different at my 50th. That particular mental exercise was actually kind of challenging, because for the most part I like my life and I like myself. There are some things that will change; there always are. Life is change. The question, the truly important question is will the change be one that a person seeks, a self directed change? Or will it be something that just happens? Without direction? Without a goal?
Before I ramble on even further, I should take a moment and state, for the purpose of clarity, that change that just happens is not necessarily bad. Nor is change that comes about as result of a following a path toward a directed goal is not always good. With that said, I tend to think that some things will never change unless one makes a conscious effort to change them. Some behaviors, for example, will never change unless one makes a conscious effort to change them.
After a bit of thought, I decided the thing I wanted most to be different at my fiftieth birthday was that I wanted to be more healthy. Part of that decision was made by the rather shocking and sudden realization that my Dad had died a mere four months after his 49th birthday. Of course I’d always known how hold he was when he died, but when your 26 the age span of time between 40 and 49 is a hell of a lot longer than it is when your 40. Like me, my Dad was overweight, and a smoker. He also had a problem with booze (he liked it, a lot). So far that’s the only thing I’ve managed to change is that I stopped drinking a whole lot earlier than he did (sober 16 years now, thank you very much). Of course he smoked four packs a day, and I’m averaging about 1.5 packs, so I don’t smoke as much as he did, but I make up for it by being a lot larger than he was. Neither condition is really very healthy. Time to make some changes.
First up will be quitting smoking. And judging by my success today, it’s going to be a full blown pain in the posterior. I’ve tried quitting before, but I’ve never had much success. Today I’ve smoked less than a pack, which is less than I normally smoke, but I had intended to quit smoking cold turkey. Let’s just say that was a spectacularly bad idea. In other words, it didn’t work. I did make it five hours from wake up to first cigarette, and that is four hours and fifty minutes longer than the day before. However, by the time I finally broke down and went and got a pack of cigarettes on lunch break I was in the midst of a niccotine fit of truly cosmic proportions. I swear, I think I smoked that cigarette in less than twenty seconds…and it was so goooooddd. Obviously, I’m going to need some help. I don’t chew gum, so the nicotine gum is not an option. I’m seriously considering the patch. So, any of my loyal readers have any tips? Suggestions? Success stories?
At this point I plan to spend the time between now and New Years focussing on kicking the niccotine habbit. It is a cliche to start a diet on New Years day, but that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t really know what plan I’m going to follow yet, but that’s what I’m going to spend part of the next few days figuring out. I just know I’ve got to make changes. I won’t write about these projects much, but they will pop up here in the Corner occasionally.
Goal for tomorrow? Two less than I smoked today.


Looking back and looking forward

“I wished on the seven sisters,
Bring to me wisdom of age,
All that’s locked within the book of secrets,
I longed for the knowledge of the sage…”

It is now 10:04 P.M., and it is time to blog. Where to begin? Where to begin, indeed. I think I’ll skip the recap of the last three days of the last work week, for the time at work was just that: time at work. Not much to write about, not much to remember. The weekend, however was a quite different story.
My family was in Memphis this weekend, both to celebrate my birthday (which will actually technically occur in about another 1 hour and 55 minutes, and to do our Christmas Celebration. For many reasons, none of which are actually bad, our Christmas is going to be different this year. For the first time in my life I’ll not be at my parent’s house on Christmas Morning. For me, it’s because of an insane work Schedule. My Sister won’t be there because she will be with her Husband on Christmas morning (as she should be). Oh, and Mom won’t be there because she will be in Los Vegas spending Christmas with her sister. The fact is that the Fletcher family had a run of 40 years spending christmas at home, not many families can say that. I do not really mind the situation changing, well, not for the reasons it is changing. The tradition is changing because the family has changed in good ways. Not because we are angry at each other, not because of any drama or soap operas. It’s a good change. And, we still got to spend time together this weekend, and that is the truly important part. Having the “Christmas Celebration” on the actual date of Christmas is not really necessary.
So, Friday I had to work until 8:00 PM, which caused me to miss going to Mo’s graduation, and I hated that. I had to work Saturday morning until 11:00 Am. Mom, Kris, and Steve (my brother in law) arrived at their hotel in Millington about 2:00 . We hung out  for a couple of hours just catching up with each other. I’d not seen any of them since Kris’s wedding in September. It was truly good to receive them. Kris and Steve gave me a very nice wallet/money clip which had my name engraved on it. Mom’s gift was an item I’m going to get a great deal of use from; a very nice day planner. Over the course of the years I’ve used probably hundreds of day planners, and so far I have to say I like this one’s layout better than any I’ve seen before.
About 4:30 several members of the rest of my family showed up. This would be members of the House of Three Dragons. This is my, well, local family. They are not my blood relations, but that doesn’t make them any less my family. We all loaded up and headed to the Grand Casino for dinner and fun. The meal was good, the conversation during the meal, was even better. After dinner Steve and Gresch disappeared into the poker room for several hours. The rest of us headed to the slots and table games. By the time we left at 10:30 I think the only people that were not at least even were myself and Turlaugh. I know my sister won about 200 playing electronic poker. Mom won about 150.00 , and on his last spin on the roulette wheel Jim won over 700.00. It was a great evening.
There were twelve of us that had journeyed south to Tunica. Let me rephrase that; I was joined by 11 members of my family. I was joined by 11 people I truly care about and enjoy spending time with. These 11 people had come to help me celebrate my birthday. That really struck me, for it really helped me see how much my life had changed in the last ten years.
You see, ten years ago I was living in Decatur Alabama. My Mom was in Birmingham, and Kris was in Macon Georgia. So, the three of us could have, possibly, gotten together for the weekend, but it would have been damn hard. At the time I had three close friends I cared about: One was living in Decatur, one was (and still is) living in Japan, and one was in living in Little Rock Arkansas. That was it. If I’d put out a call to join me for dinner, or whatever, to help celebrate my birthday, only the one friend in Decatur could have responded. In fact, if I remember right, he did respond, I think we ate at a pizza place. There just weren’t any other people I counted as friends, or family at the time. What I find truly strange, thinking about it now, was how normal that seemed. I won’t claim I was really happy, but I was…..content. So what if my family was hours away? So what if there were only three people I truly called friends? Hell, at the time I thought I had more true friends than most people. True, the fact that two of them were also a great distance away from me was kind of a bummer, but  I kept in touch with them by phone once or twice a month or so. I’d see the Jon, the one living in Japan once a year when he came home to the states. Every six months or so I’d make a road trip to Little Rock for the weekend. Other than that, I went to work, and when I wasn’t at work, I read, or engaged in my hobby of building models . Like I said, I wasn’t really unhappy, but I realize now, I wsn’t really happy either. That’s just the way life was.
What a difference a decade makes. In many ways I am not where I expected to be when I turned 40, but I can honestly say I’m happy. I have a family I truly love. I have more friends than I can count, both here in the same city I live in, and literally all across the South East. Now, true, some of those more distant friends I don’t see except at Events, but when I do see them our conversations start up right where they ended the last time we saw each other. Perhaps more importantly, I have close friends (so close I consider them family) right here in town, and I know that on any given week I’ll be spending time face to face with those friends a minimum of two or three times a week. I literally can’t tell you what an amazing difference that has made in my life.
Sure, sometimes money gets tight. Sure, sometimes I wish I had a different job, or a nicer vehicle, or something I don’t have and can’t afford right now. Sure,  sometimes I wish life was different. But then I stop, and I make myself remember how different my life is now compared to what it was in the past, and I say a silent thank you to whatever Divine Force watches over me for those changes. At such times I also remind myself that in the end the only form of weath that is worth a damn, the only form of wealth that you can take with you when you move on to the next life is the love of family and friends, and by that measure I am a truly wealthy man.
I  do not claim to know what changes the next ten years will hold, but I am looking forward to finding out. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fun ride.



“Neon lights, A Nobel Prize
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the Cult of Personality
I exploit you still you love me”

Let’s talk about words tonight, shall we? Specifically, let’s talk about profanity? Doesn’t that sound like fun? I think so.
….of course, after reading that sentance, I think it’s also possible that I’m channeling the spirit of Mr. Rodgers, but I digress…..
Most of you that read this know me in, for the lack of a better descriptive phrase, the real world. Therefore you know that while I don’t consider myself particularly foul mouthed, I also do not hesitate to to use words that some people consider profane. Mostly for emphasis when trying to make a point, or descibe something. I tend to not use profanity much when I write, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know why. When I write, I don’t seem to see the need for such words the way I do when I am speaking. It’s a question I shall have to ponder in the future.
I’ve been thinking the last week or so about profanity in language because of a rather interesting discussion that was generating traffic on the Grey Niche Yahoo List. A member of the Barony, in response to a question about common courtesies had responded by saying she was offended by profanity and wondered why so many people seemed to see a need to use it. Now, since the particular person that posted that comment is a member of the House of Three Dragons, and since she had discussed it with me before, I had the feeling I was one of the people she was commenting on. I thinkI showed the restraint of Buddha (who more than one person have told me I resemble, physically anyway) by not responding on the list. Now, to be fair, the person that made the original statement was joined by others that were of a similiar mind, and several people that shared my opinion also joined the discussion. I do need to be clear here, unlike some discussions I’ve seen on various Yahoo lists, this was a polite, repectful discussion. It was most emphatically not a flame war, etc. etc.
Now, had I actually joined the discussion I would have said something like this: I would have first pointed out that i find it odd that the person that doesn’t like curse words often uses what I call “Wuss Words”. These are words like “dang”, “crap”, or other words that sound like real cuss words, but aren’t. They are used in the same way and for the same reasons. I find it kind of hypocritical to say that using profanity is wrong when one uses wuss words. To my mind it seems like somebody that wants to curse, cuss, etc, but just doesn’t have the courage to do so.
I might have further added that to my mind all words have the power to hurt, and there is nothing particularly hurtful about curse words. In fact, there are far, far more harmful words. The plain and simple fact is that any words can be used to hurt or harm, depending on the speaker’s (writer’s) intent. Of course, the other side of that is that any word can also be used to inspire, uplift, and help, again, depending on the person’s intent.
Finally, had I chosen to participate in that discussion I would have pointed out that in my own, personal lexicon, the words I find most profane are these: elected politician, republican, democrat,(any political party, really), congress, George Bush, Dick Cheney, yodel. rap music, Oklahoma Sooner (Hey, I was born in Nebraska), snow shovel (again, I was born in Nebraska), etc. etc.


“‘Cause I’ve got friends in low places
Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases
My blues away, and I’ll be OK.
And I’m not big on social graces
Think I’ll slip on down to the oasis
So I’ve got friends… in low places!”

Searching for inspiration can be a truly frustrating experience. For example, before writing the previous sentance I had stared at a blank screen for roughly ten minutes. One of my weekly goals is to blog at least three times a week, and tonight I am having a really difficult time coming up with something to write about. This is ….troublesome.
I could, I guess, write about politics. I could probably even find something quite funny to write about. If you are not a fan of the current occupant of the White House, and I freely admit I’m not, there are all kind of things that he’s done that could be described in a humorous manner. However, politics are not quite the right theme for tonight. All the jokes in the world will not change the fact that  man, and his cabal of advisors have gotten my country involved in a war with no real plan for victory, no exit strategy, and no legitimate justification.
Upon re-reading that paragraph I realize I need to make two things very clear before I say anything else. First and formost, despite the fact that I’ve never been in the military, I have nothing but respect for the men and women that do serve in any of the branches of the military. I admire the sacrifice and dedication they show daily. My disrespect is aimed at their Comander in Chief; you know, the one that was AWOL from his national guard unit for over a year during the Viet Nam War. Second, I also have to admit that I thought the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was justified and necessary. I do not feel the same about the war in Iraq.
So, I’ll not be writing about national politics. I think I’ll also avoid writing about religion, entertainment….Ah, I know, I’ll write about “Advice I’ve Been Given”. That should be entertaining. Over the course of the last 39 years and 11 months I’ve been given quite a lot of advice; some bad, some VERY bad, and some quite good. I think tonight I’ll concentrate on some good advice I’ve been given recently.
Just over a year ago, while I was dealing with a friendship that was ending, or at least significantly changing, my Peer, told me “some people are not truly happy unless they are in Hell, a hell of their own making, and they do everything they can to take those around them to that same Hell”. It made a great deal of sense, and remembering helped me do what I had to do in order to deal with the situation. Helped me to pull back, and to realize that for whatever reasons that particular friend would always find ways to be miserable. I felt bad for the individual, and I still do, but I couldn’t continue to spend as much time around that person, couldn’t continue to get caught up in the ongoing drama of their life. It helped.
Then there was the excellent advice I received from JBK (Um, that would be John The Bear Killer) gave me at Samhain 2006. Late on Saturday afternoon, as I was trying to explain to some people where I needed the various thrones moved to so that they were in place for Court, JBK asked a question about the placement I was discussing. Now, the question he asked was a good one, but I had already considered the issue he was talking about and had planned for it. I was in the process of explaining this to him when he reached out and placed his hand on my forearm and said in a very calm, low voice, “Cormac, you need to work on keeping the irritation off your face.” I started to say something but before I could, he went on, “No, it’s allright. You’ve done well keeping the irritation out of your voice, you just need to work at keeping it off your face”. I was struck by a couple of things in his statement. First, he was right. I was irritated, and I thought I had hidden my irritation well. However what really struck me was the calm way John was trying to help me. He didn’t get angry at the flash of irritation he had seen. He didn’t yell, in fact I would be surprised if any of the people standing just a few feet away heard anything he said. He was genuinely trying to help me; trying to give me advice that would help me in dealing with people that might get angry at seeing such a flash of irritation. In the month and half since, I’ve tried to practice that advice. I will admit to varrying degrees of success, but the point is, I’m trying.
Finally, I want to mention I piece of advice recently got from the writings of AElflaed of Duckford (for those of you that have not had the pleasure to read her writings check out her website and her Blog ), and this specific piece of advice was simply this: “make the better choice”. In other words, when trying to decide how to react to something, how to proceed with something, etc, etc, simply stop for a minute, figure out the options available, and make the better choice. It is simple, perhaps to simple in some cases, but I’ve found it helpful. To my mind the most important, the most beneficial part of that piece of advice was the instruction to stop and think for a moment before reacting, or acting, or whatever. I know that far to often, I forget to stop and think. I just act, or react. However, since reading that recently, I’ve been trying to train my brain to stop and think. Of course, my brain can be a problematical beast, and despite knowing that I should make the better choice, I often don’t. But progress is sometimes slow. Still, slow progress is better than no progress. Old habits die hard, but with continuing effort they will die, and new habits will replace them.


A thoroughly enjoyable weekend

“driving down the interstate,
running several hours late”

Christmas Revel this past weekend was the first Barony of Axemore event I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend. I can say with great deal of confidence it will not be the last. I had a great time. In many ways it was a wonderful event. What made it wonderful? Well, let’s see….
I rode to the event with Their Majesties Padruig and Linnet, along with Kat and Luther. The drive to Lousianna is a long one that can drag at times. However when one is making the drive with good people, and the conversation is not only entertaining but also thought provoking the miles and hours seem to fly by. We departed their Majesties home at 5:30, by 6:15 we had picked up Luther and were on the road south. We successfully negotiated the strange traffic construction and were able to leave Memphis without much problem. As we drove through Mississippi and Lousianna the conversation covered a wide range of topics, and eventually we reached site.
We trolled in quickly and got unloaded even more quickly. It was well past midnight, and most of the people staying in the Royal/Entourage cabin went right to bed. I tend to not sleep on Friday nights at events, so I changed into garb and headed up to the main hall where I knew I’d find people to talk to. My friend Magdalena (it’s quite possible I misspelled her name, and if so, I appologize ), was there, along with Michelle, and couple of other people. We talked the night away, as we always do. It’s amazing, I first met Magdalena at Hunt For the Prize in July, and since then I’ve only seen her twice but though months go by between the times we see each other we can start our conversations right where they left off.
Eventually it was 6:30 and I had to report to the kitchen. I had volunteered to help the cook breakfast so for the next two hours I fried french toast. In five years of being a member of the society I’d never actually worked in the kitchen, other than helping with clean up at the end of the event feast. I know my limitations and skills, and cooking is not one of them. However with the help of the feastocrats and the others working on breakfast we eventually got a system going that even I could handle. It was fun, and no one apparently died from the french toast, so that’s good. However, I think I’ll continue to show my utmost respect for those that work in event kitchens by staying out of their way, and by helping clean up at the end of feast.
I had not scheduled to be available for entourage duties until noon, so after breakfast I spent some time hanging out and talking with Mistress Beaumont. Jane is always fun to talk with, and as a member of my household, and more importantly as a good friend she always gives me good advice. She did so again this weekend. She also surprised the me greatly later in the day, but I’ll have to write about that another time.
Eventually noon arrived and I went to the fighting field to begin my entourage duties for the day. I did that all afternoon, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It’s seeing a different part of the Society. We spent the afternoon for the most part watching the fighting, which was great. The William Marshall Tournament in particular was a lot of fun to watch, and judging by the comments of the fighters a lot of fun to take part in as well. I also had a great deal of fun watching the youth combat tournaments.
Eventually it was time to get prepared for court, and then time for court. Both Their Excellencies Axemore and THeir Majesties had a lot of court business, so court was LONG, but it was also, in a lot of ways very moving. Nothing was hurried, and everybody that received awards was made to feel very honored. I like that. I hate it when people try to rush court.
After Court an excellent feast was served, and that is good, because I was hungry enough to eat a small horse. Fortunately the death of a small horse was not necessary, and the feast was very good. The pork in particular was excellent. I did learn that I never in my life want to eat a kumquat again, but even that was a valuable lesson. During feast a wonderful bard by the name of Sanzio performed filk by the name of “I love this shire” at our table. Damn, that was a cool song. Later that night I was honored to hear several more of his songs as he performed for Their Majesties on the porch of the hall during the post feast revel. He sang, “Legends” (a song guaranteed to make damn near any SCA member in this area to tear up), “Don’t have to be me again til Monday”, “Much To Young To Be This Damn Bruised”, “The Squire Song”, and many others. I bought one of his CD’s, and can’t wait for him to send it to me. I eventually went to bed around 2:00 AM.
I would like to say I slept the undisturbed peacefull sleep of the thouroughly happy, but that in fact is not entirely true. After being asleep for what I assume to be a couple of hours I was awakened by my left thigh cramping up. It seamed as if the mucles of my leg were for some reason upset with me and were attempting to punish me by apparently trying to tie themselves into unnatural knots. I got out of bed, rather clumsily I might add, and decided to try and walk the cramp off….So I headed out of the cabin. As I was stepping though the door of the cabin the big toe of my left foot (I had not even tried to put my shoes on) impacted rather harshly on the door frame. Now picture this, if you will: fat bald man wearing nothing but a pair of sweat pants hopping up and down on the ground in front of a cabin on a (very) cold clear night at 3:30 AM. Said fat bald man is trying not to cuss at the top of his lungs because quite a lot of people are sleeping not far away. While I am sure no actual humans saw me, I’m sure whatever nocturnal creatures like raccons, possums, owls, etc. that did see me were either laughing thier furry behinds off, or were (much more likely) scarred for life. Eventually the cramp went away and went back inside (carefully avoiding any contact between my toes and the doorframe) and went back to sleep.
Morning came all to quickly. It always amazes me how fast the packing up and is done, and before long we were heading into Alexandria to get breakfast. I’m sure the eight people that descended on the IHOP and ordered huge amounts of food were talked about by the staff of that restaurant for the rest of day. But we had a good time, and we tipped well.
The drive home was long, but again filled with good conversation, and for the other four people in the van with my snores. Eventually, we arrived home. Another great weekend was over, but the memories of it will stay with me for a very, very long time.


Just another Tuesday….

(Turn and face the stranger)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the stranger)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t change  time”

Well, another day is at an end, and that means it’s time to blog. Unfortunately, I once again don’t seem to have a great deal to blog about tonight. Oh well, I’ll think of something. I usually do.
My work day was not to annoying today. The eight hours passed rather quickly, and in my job that is always a good thing.  Of course, the day did get off to a rather shocking start when I walked outside the door this morning. It was COLD!. I mean seriously cold. Jeez, I must be getting soft as I get older; I mean it wasn’t below zero or anything but it was damn cold. The last three years I lived in Nebraska the entire months of December, January, and February never the temperature never got above zero degrees. It wasn’t nice, but it was a fact, and people dealt with it. Tweny three years later I have to wonder how? I mean several months of weather colder than it was this morning. Gods, I’m glad my Dad moved us south. I don’t miss the winters of my youth, don’t miss them at all.
After work I contacted American Johnny and found out why they had not sent an invoice for the porta potties we rented for Samhain. It turns out that they had, but for some reason I never received it. They graciously agreed to send me another one, and gave me the amount due. So, with that final bit of knowledge I can now say that Samhain 2006, the Rumble on the River, officially made a profit. Yep, it made a profit of $8.32. Not a great deal of profit, but my record of never losing money on an event is unbroken.
I spent a couple of hours reading and then it was time to go to the Baronial Business meeting The last business meeting had deteriorated into a …..well the word I would like to use is not appropriate for a public post but it would rhyme with the phrase bluster puck. I was, for the first time since joining the SCA, actively looking for a reason to not attend a Business Meeting. Normally, I encourage as many people as possible to attend the meetings. I firmly believe that if one wants to participate in the SCA Events, one has a responsibility to attend the meetings. True, they usually are not much fun, but they are necessary. They are part of what makes the events possible. However, after the melt down last week, I was trying to find away to avoid going this evening. I couldn’t find a way to avoid it without feeling like a hypocrite, so I loaded up my notebook, and headed to the meeting. Fortunately things were much better tonight. There are still some tensions, but the main issue had been addressed. Everybody was nice to each other tonight. I even got a couple of interesting offers to work on some projects with some good people. In the end, I was glad I attended.

Questions without answers….yet

“Over the mountain take me across the sky
Something in my vision, something deep inside
Where did I wander, where d’ya think I wandered to
I’ve seen life’s magic astral plane I travel through.”

I don’t really have anything stunning to comment on tonight, so instead of giving you a boring recap of truly, mind-numbingly boring day, I’ll …..I guess I’ll just ask some questions that have been on my mind lately. I warn you know, this is going to be boring, but it’s the best I can come up with tonight.
I posted last week a question about the responsibilities of of people participating in the SCA, and I’ve since asked that question to a couple of people that I respect in face to face conversations. Those conversations led to other questions, and without describing all the twists and turns of those particular conversational paths I’ll just state that for the last couple of days I’ve been pondering the difference, if any, between the words “promise”, “vow”, and “oath”. According to dictionary.com (allow me to say again, I love the internet), all three could arguably be used interchangably. So, why are “oaths” and “vows” given so much more…weight?
The next question is completely and totally not related to the previous questions. After many years of avoiding on-line role playing games, I am seriously thinking of starting to play either World OF Warcraft , Eve On-line, or City of Villians. Now, it has been three years or more since I last played Everquest, and I have no real knowledge of the games listed, so I would be interested in hearing any recomendations. One of the things I loved about Everquest was the whole “trade skill” routine, where your character could gain skills in making armor, weapons, etc. etc. I’m not necessarily looking for a first person shooter type game. So, any and all recomendations please.
I’ll pass on most of the political questions I have slogging through my brain, but I just have to ask if there is any city, anywhere in the country that is more corrupt at the metro level than Memphis? There was just another sting last week and a bunch of local politicians were arrested for influence peddling. I know it was at the State level, but at least Huey Long and his cronies were at least entertaining when they were in power in Lousianna, but the Memphis politicians wouldn’t know how to be entertaining if there lives depended on it.
Last and final question for the evening? Who else is going to Christmas Revel this weekend?

That’s all for tonight,


The Good End to a Good Week

“I’ve gone by the point of carin’
Some old bed I’ll soon be sharin’
I got one more silver dollar
I ain’t gonna let ’em catch me
No I ain’t gonna let ’em catch
A midnight rider.”

What a wonderful day. A day that ends a thoroughly enjoyable week. Can’t ask for more of a Saturday than that, can you? I guess you could, but I’m not going to. So, what made the day so good? Let me tell you.
First, I got to to sleep late. I didn’t have to work this morning, and there was literally nothing I had to do until about 10:30 AM (more on that later), so I got to sleep in. While there are a great many things that one can do that are better than turning off the alarm clock and sleeping until 9:00 AM, none of them were anything I was doing at 5:3o A.M. when my alarm went off like the bells of hell. You see, I had forgotten to turn it off when I went to bed last night. So, the simple act of shutting off the demonic device this morning and rolling over to go back to sleep for another three hours was damn enjoyable. It was a great morning to sleep in; all warm and comfortable under my covers. Enjoyable, and cheap, it didn’t cost me a thing.
Eventually, however, I had to get up. I had to take my Peer and her kids to their Christmas present. I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a really lousy Christmas shopper, and I had been having a hard time figuring out what to get for Linnnet. Excuse me, I guess for the next few months I should refer to her as Her Royal Majesty Linnet. I had decided on all the other gifts I needed to get for people, but hadn’t seen anything that I thought she would like, or that I would like to give her. Then that movie premiered. You see, Her Royal Majesty Linnet collects penguins. So, when Happy Feet premiered I thougt, “take her and her kids to see that”. You know, it’s not often that I have a brilliant idea, but when it does happen, it is, well brilliant.
So, at 10:30 this morning I met her, and her kids at MacCalisters deli for a late breakfast/early lunch. Then at 11:50 we were in the theater and watching the movie. The movie was better than I expected, though the ending was kind of weak. The animation was wonderful, and the music was very well chosen, and it was a very enjoyable couple of hours. The absolute best part occured as we were walking out of the theater; it seems that Lindsey had happy feet to. She danced her way out of the theater. Just before we all left she gave me a big hug and thanked me for her Christmas present.  Yep, I did good.
After the movie I finished the rest of my Christmas shopping. As I had mentioned earlier I knew what I was going to get everyone, I knew where it was located, and all I had to do was actually go pick the various items up. Knowing all of that before actually stepping into the retail combat zones that are stores during the Christmas Shopping Season really helps. I was not in any store more than twenty minutes and most of that was actually spent waiting in line. There was none of that wandering around looking for something that would be right for various people that is my normal Christmas Shopping experience. So, with only 23 days left in the season, I am DONE! Truly, officially done. Damn, that’s a good feeling.
It’s only 6:38 on Saturday evening and I’ve already had a great day. I’m going to spend the evening attempting to be somewhat productive. I’ve got a couple of relatively small projects here at the house to work on. Time to get the next week and the month of december somewhat organized. I truly hope everyone else has had as good day as I have had.