Showing posts from December, 2012

See ya 2012

It's less than an hour and a half before midnight on New Year's Eve. We celebrated New York's new year at 10 p.m. Mountain time, and Lori and Michael went to bed, but Ben is being a trooper and trying to stay awake for 2013. I've cracked open a Bristlecone Brown Ale (microbrewed in Utah -- yes, we have microbreweries here, some good ones, too) and am watching "Return of the Jedi" on Spike. Here's my customary last blog post of the year.

I would be cliche to say 2012 went by too fast, because it did. The year was great. Fun. Productive. Rarely boring.

Yet, I think 2013 can be better. There's a blanket resolution -- improve everything even if it's already good. Enjoying every minute with my family. More writing (202 blog posts in 2012; can I reach 300 in 2013?). More healthy living. Fewer wasted moments. Efficient, productive days. Enough sleep at nights.

Ben is starting to drag just as the battle of Endor is turning in the rebels'/Ewoks' fa…

An expected journey

We took the boys to see "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" today. We originally planned for me just to take Michael a few weeks ago, but the day the screening was scheduled (through Lori's office, mostly for clients but also for staff), we discovered he also had a basketball game. So we went as a family today.

Michael and I liked the movie, but I agree with others' criticisms that the producers are unnecessarily dragging out the book. Almost three hours of movie was possibly too much for Ben, who was antsy and probably drank too much soda (he was bouncing at dinner at Applebee's afterward).

Our Saturday was dominated by movie and a dinner. I took Popcorn to the vet this morning for a couple shots. The weather is still a little cold -- none of the snow we got in the last week is melting. With Christmas over, I am already looking forward to spring.

On the first day after Christmas ...

Christmas came. Christmas went. Ho ho ho.

Growing up, December seemed to last forever. The anticipation leading up to Christmas morning can overwhelm a kid looking forward to presents and several days off school. Dec. 25 couldn't arrive fast enough (I scanned several old pictures today and included this one of me on Christmas morning when I was 9 -- same age as Michael. What's with the green outfit?)

As an adult and a parent, the anticipation is replaced by anxiety. December is so busy, even more so this year because we went to Texas. I'll admit, the anxiety is sometimes good anxiety, but it's there nonetheless. The days and weeks of Christmas music, holiday decorations and shopping decisions (compounded, at least for us, by Michael's birthday) zip past. This year, Christmas seemed more sudden than usual (and I noticed how quickly it went last year as well).

However, I'm not sad or bittersweet Christmas came and went so quickly. Except for Ben getting sick Sund…

Roller boogie

From 1980 to 1984, I owned roller skates. My first pair was a blue-and-white pair without stoppers that were from Sears. I got them right after finishing fourth grade. Our parish had built a gorgeous new gym that could double as a skating rink. I was so uncoordinated, and those skates were scary, but after practicing on our gangway for days, I finally became good enough to go to skating at St. Eugene's (Fridays 7-10, Saturdays and Sundays 1-4; $1, but you needed to bring extra cash to buy a candy bar or a soda).

My second pair was a gym-shoe style skate, gray and blue. I quickly figured out how to learn the stoppers. I never could skate backward, but I could turn and stop.

The third was a more grown-up pair, black boot style. I think I got them before eighth grade, but I didn't use them as much as skating didn't seem as cool. I graduated grade school, so I wasn't really allowed to skate at St. Eugene's once in high school (not that I would have anyway). And I wasn&…

No place to hide

It's after midnight on Friday night, and I'm home from a shift at the newspaper. I'm watching old "Saturday Night Live" episodes on Netflix as I type this. Netflix just added episodes from the 1980s, but unfortunately, they are not complete episodes (no musical guests, and the 1984 episode that Eddie Murphy hosted -- maybe the most quoted episode from my youth, didn't have every skit, including the film where Eddie disguises himself as a white man). I'm actually happy that the wet snow outside has coated the satellite dish, thus forcing me into NetFlix, because I might be too tempted to watch CNN or MSNBC for more coverage of the Connecticut shootings.

After a long day of watching the tragedy unfold, the last thing I needed this late was more reminders on how the world can be a terrible place.

No matter what I do, I can't completely protect my sons.

I can't stop not thinking about this conclusion, even after hours of work and SNL reruns. I know th…

Heroes past

I just started reading a biography of baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax. The book is about 10 years old and is written by the same author who wrote a more recent book on Mickey Mantle: "The Last Boy." These are two athletes I never got to see play. Admittedly, I'm a little bit of a sucker for historical baseball nonfiction -- the sport seems to lend itself to that more than any other.

I was born in 1970. I didn't start watching sports until about 1977. I missed a 100 years of baseball history, a good 70 years of football lore and about 40-50 years of basketball. I can only read about the exploits of sports heroes past, with some occasional film footage thrown in. But watching old video just isn't the same. No offense to NFL Films and ESPN Classic, but watching sports legends decades later isn't the same as experiencing their accomplishments in real time.

In basketball history -- and remember, this is my favorite sport -- I wish I could have seen Bob Cousy p…

The philosophies of Shamu

We are on vacation this week in Texas visiting my family. The one thing Michael really wanted to do on our trip was go to SeaWorld in San Antonio, and today, the day before his ninth birthday, his wish was granted.

The park is in full Christmas mode, with all the shows (the ones still being performed anyway; the park was definitely in off-peak mode) tying in a holiday theme. The dolphin/beluga show was set to music from "The Nutcracker." The Shamu show tied into the miracle of Christmas, because when you think of the birth of Jesus, you naturally also picture an orca doing a midair flip to get some fish as a reward. The sea lion show was slightly Santa-themed. I shouldn't sound so cynical -- the shows still were entertaining and fun, and the boys, especially Ben, enjoyed themselves. I liked the the sea lion show the best, and thankfully, we were high enough in the seating area that we didn't get wet at the Shamu show.

We were blessed with warm weather, though it was …


This is December.

Bells. Constant, jingling bells. White and red and green. December is lights gleaming on a cold, quiet night.

December is snow. In other months, snow is somewhat of a nuisance (especially if you aren't much of a skier). But snow in December always is prettier, always more welcome. The first snowballs you form in your hands feel full of potential this month.

Pine permeates December. There is not a more joyous scent than walking through a Christmas tree lot.

December is too many Christmas songs to count. It's year-end lists and countdowns. It's days of preparations for one holiday, than a sudden realization that the next holiday is coming, and with that next holiday, a new calendar. It's Saturday NFL games (though only one this year) and purple and pink candles.

December is George Bailey jumping into the ice after his little brother, falling into the gym floor pool, pulling the wood off the bannister, saying hi to Bedford Falls over and over. It's R…