Friday, December 31, 2004
Alright, everyone. I know this past year has been alternately fantastic and disappointing for myself and many of you out there. But I am putting my political hat back on here so listen up (or you might miss something).
We have a lot to deal with in this new year.
First we have to deal with the horrorible aftermath of the tsunami. It is just about the worst thing that has ever happened. There is no doubt about it. If you believe in God or prayers, say one. If you do or don't believe in such things, send a check to the Red Cross or your favorite help organization. There is a time for giving and humanitarian thought and action. This is it.
However, do not let the tsunami blind you to the problems that face us. It is a horrible event, but the world is threatened by many horrible events of lesser and lingering malevolence (the tsunami was not evil...it was just vicious nature).
It has been easy for me to put politics on the back burner. I have a lot of other things going on in my life. But many of them are resolved and I'm in a position to refocus myself on the things I can do...maybe small things like blogging or volunteering, but I can keep my attention focussed on helping the world become a better place for my coming child.
We all have to make a difference because we owe it to those who will come after us not to give up their hope for a better world.
We are not like those who wait for the Apocalypse. We want this world to be a wonderous place to live. We are not merely biding our time waiting for some hoped for paradise. And we certainly aren't praying for an end of things.
I still want to live forever.
2005 is a new opportunity to work for change. Blog about our rage and aspirations. Reach out and help our friends and opponents to understand that there are better ways to live, work and vote. Think about all that you did for the last election and double it for the next one.
When the ball drops tonight, be resolved to let 2004 fade to history and take 2005 as a challenge for greater things. Tomorrow will be a better day. I know it.
Have a Happy New Year everyone. Lots of love to you and yours from me and mine.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
It's that time of year again where we who have families that care little for the religious ramifications of gift giving and celebrating gather together and raise a glass of whatever and toast yet another passing of the shortest day of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere...for those down south, well, they can toast too!)
I also use NODWISH (the NOn-Denominaional WInter Solstice Holiday) as a time of reflection on the year that has passed (although the gift giving is nice too...I like to give them and get them...works out well for me).
So 2004! What a year!
There have been disappointments to be sure. Mainly that whole election thing. It just didn't work out so well for anyone, really. Even the repubs will regret this one after a couple of years. Sooner or later, their uppance will be comed, I am sure of this.
More important, though. My grandmother passed on this year. She was an amazing woman who touched everyone who knew her. She was fabulously unique and always made me feel like I could do anything and be anything and so long as I was happy in the pursuit, she would be proud of me. But I will not miss her because she will always be in my memories and in my heart.
This year has also had it share of wonder for me as well.
First, I was able to purchase a fantastic house. My wife and I really do love this place and plan to spend at least a few great years here. The dog is happy. The cats are happy and our families are thrilled for us.
I also sold my first screenplay to Lions Gate Films. While I have yet to hear anything back from them, I am very proud of the work and of the sale. It has always been a goal of mine.
I accomplished another goal this past Friday when I took my last final exam, offically ending 16+ years of my undergraduate education. I took some time off in the middle, but I always said I would go back and finish my degree and I did. It's a strange thing after all these years, but I know grandma would be especially proud. It was something she always wanted for me.
Oh, and did I mention the baby on the way? My wife is now 10 weeks along and we have had an ultrasound which shows a healthy heartbeat and proper development. We expect the baby on July 15th. I am amazed by the experience of it all and my only wish for my child right now is health (everyone else is rooting for the sex in their own way...it is really not important to me).
I have accomplished so many life goals this year that I need to sit back down and find some new ones. That's why I can honestly say that this is the best NODWISH ever!
I hope it is equally wonderful for all of you and yours.
HAPPY MERRY NODWISH EVERYONE!!!!
(And for the uninitiated, here is a repost of the "Story of NODWISH"
Being a Southern Californian Jew with multiple step-parents who have not been Jewish, I have always had to reconcile that on December 25, I would be a part of some kind of Christmas celebration. Not that I really mind it. I mean, Chanukah is a lovely holiday that celebrates a very interesting chapter in Jewish military history topped off by a minor miracle involving oil that lasted longer than expected. I mean, really, God parted the Red Sea and threw frogs at Egyptians for the ancient Hebrews and yet we give gifts because a lamp stayed lit. Eight nights of gifts sounds really great until you become an adult and have to try to stretch these things out. So Christmas at our house has been really interesting because it always begins with lox and cream cheese on a nice toasty bagel (although Xmas dinner has become popular as of late...my rich cheap parents providing a nice cut of meat instead of the lox breakfast...I prefer the lox...my in-laws are always good for lox, though and I'm seeing them in a couple of weeks, so I'll let my parents off the hook this year). And my father, sadist that he is, always throws his ten or so Xmas CDs into his large changer and pipes songs about chestnuts and ringy bells throughout his cavernous beach house (nothing like Xmas in Malibu...I'm dreaming of a...sandy Xmas, just like the one in Tel Aviv). So anyhow, I could never wrap my head around the whole Xmas thing, being a Jew, and finally came up with the perfect way to celebrate an annual gift giving holiday by removing the religion from the swapping. I call it NODWISH, or the NOn-Denominational WInter Solstice Holiday. You can swap it out for Xmas in any of the songs, it has a nice pagan, but not pagan feel to it and nobody in Malibu is likely to be offended, what with Shirley McLaine a few houses down. You can have a NODWISH tree, sing NODWISH jingles and even have a white NODWISH, should you be so inclined. It is the perfect holiday compromise for the Judeo-Christian family that hasn't seen the inside of a temple or church since the last bar mitzvah or wedding which was most likely in some outdoor venue.
So have a Happy Merry NODWISH everyone! (and the guy in the red suit? You can call him Mr. Nick or Uncle Claus...)
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea lecthim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").
Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed by the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Ashcroft administration for the past 4 years and
failing to have taken adequate measures to protect themselves.
Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea lecthim include:
- Antisocial personality disorder traits
- Delusions of grandeur with amessianic flavor
- Cognitive perseveration
- Inability to incorporate new information into a rigid idée fixee
- Inability to accept responsibility for actions;
- A strong propensity for categorical, all-or-nothing thinking.