For many, this time of year is one of reflection because it is the end of the year. For me it is a time of reflection because I mark the passing of another birthday, another winter counted in my years. This year is special. This year I mark my Golden Birthday, as the number of my years reaches the day of my birth. This year I also mark two decades of life. I will be 20 years old on December 20. On December 21, Winter Solstice, it will have been twenty years since I was bundled up, stuffed in an oversized stocking, topped with a tiny santa hat, and sent home. Two decades. It's hard to believe, really.

And what have I done in twenty years? 14 years of school. 7 years of Girl Scouts. 4 years of choir. 3.2 years of e2. 3(?) years of Jujitsu. 2 years of Explorer Scouts. 2(?) years of marching band. 1 year of study abroad. 1 year of Swedish scouts. How many parties? How many funerals? How many weddings? How many lovers? How many tears? How many smiles? How many hugs? How many pounds of chocolate eaten? These are the ways in which I measure my life. Also, to borrow from Jonathan Larson's RENT,

in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights and cups of coffee, in inches, in miles and laughter and strife.

The evil Milk Stain

I was sitting in my computer chair reading A Prayer for Owen Meany (A great book might I add), and then it hit me that I was hungry. So I stood up and took a step to the left and knocked over my glass of milk! I was really frustrated because it spilled on my fairly brand new carpet in a five inches radius!

Deciding that it was necessary to quickly clean up this mess - I grabbed the first handy or closest item, a pair of used socks. I got the apparent milky substance out of the carpet within a few seconds, but my mom has taught me that any spill needs serious cleaning. I didn't have any carpet cleaner like Spot Shot or anything like that - nor did I need one! Water is a solvent.

I poured water around the contaminated spot and immediately the milky substance was apparent. I think if you mix water and milk, milk will rise to the top. I take this observation based on my carpet incident, as when I poured the water on the carpet the milk rose to the top. This of course made the cleaning job far easier, finishing with a more appropriate couple of Kleenex tissues.

Deciding that there was one more thing I could to "double check" that the carpet was clean, I let my cat indoors. Her name is Rolley - I may have written about her before, and she is definitely one of those cats with a personality. She's a pretty old cat, sometimes we call her the prehistoric cat... Any way she is also mischievous - liking to get into human food and what not. So I let her in my room and she immediately ran to the spot in question (She smelled milk), and took a couple of sniffs. Sniffing for about twelve seconds - the average investigation of a cat, she did not lick the carpet. I took this as a success and thanked my cat by picking her up and coddling her closely. I know this sounds like one of those Cat Tails... but that’s how I got The Milk Stain out.

"I'm sorry, but Canada is closed due to bad weather. Try again next month."
--allseeingeye

Snow.

Saturday.

Walking barefoot in the snow makes for a cool poetic image, I suppose. The reality is merely cold. I hadn’t really considered how far into the back yard my friends’ hot tub is; I generally only use it in warmer weather. I remove my towel and join a small group. The wind whistles and I feel like a funnel, my shaved head letting out heat. Our resident med student suggests I wear my towel on my head. She has a good suggestion, but I’m on the American side of the border and have some concern that I might get shot at.

Sunday.

I remind myself that I grew up 500 miles north of where we live, and that I’ve driven through blizzards before. Of course, back home, I knew where I was going– and at Christmas, coloured house lights provide guidelines so it’s clear when the streets change direction. We’d both decided the weather wasn’t so bad, and with only an hour more to reach home, we would take the backroads, since the stretch of highway has been closed.

Ten minutes later we face a whiteout. I pull us from the edge of the road after we skid just off the edge. I find the way again, only to face oncoming headlights.

Monday.

The blizzard has frosted the branches, the trunks, the coniferous needles, transfiguring trees into dreamscapes. Clean white fields and cleared blue skies throw farmhouses into stark relief. Ghost cars haunt the roadsides and ditches. A snow-covered eighteen-wheeler rests against the trees into which it ploughed the night before.



Saturday started warmer and positively seasonal– at least for us. A local immigrant family had lost everything in a fire, and we’d been searching out donations, older winter clothing and such, requested by the Red Cross. In the evening, we had a Yuletide party to attend.

Our Michigan friends have great parties, and the Canadian contingent always stays overnight. That’s usually four of us– my wife, myself, and two guys from Sarnia. The guests run the range of SF fandom, from shy junk food junkies with Hugo Gernsback dreams to bisexual tomboys, to successful computermeisters, a man with a collection of sports cars, two international flight attendants, and people who can from memory identify every continuity deviation found in Enterprise; a woman who once modelled ware for the Sluggy Freelance online store, one moderately famous fantasy artist, and a guy whose website was mentioned in The New York Times and elsewhere back in the early days of the ’Net, because he was one of the first people to put terrifically pointless things online. In short, it’s kind of like the E2 chatterbox, except in the real world.

With a hot tub.

The wind whistled, providing the appropriate cliché. Even from our ersatz hot spring, we all could feel the temperature dropping. Having no hair atop merely makes me the canary in the cold meiny.

I was the second person to leave, making the barefoot trek across the yard, warming up while reporting to the catbox. The other computer in the room played an endless loop of Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice." Throughout the house, general merriment continued.


After breakfast, my wife and I drove north to the border. The youthful guard informed us that the highway had been closed. "Bad weather," he said, without elaboration. The alternate routes, he told us, the rural roads remained open, however. The sky looked fairly clear. With so little distance to home, we decided to continue.

This proved a poor decision.

A tense, slow-moving half-hour followed. Visibility ranged from poor to non-existent. Headlights appeared and disappeared as the vehicles passed. We arrived at a place where several cars and two transport trucks had stopped. An accident had blocked passage, and the rerouted transports had no way of turning around.

The people who accumulated behind us simply turned and disappeared back into the storm. That left three vehicles.

A young woman on (or, arguably, off) route to the small town of Forest. A family of four. My wife and myself.

Bill and Sandy proved the perfect people to meet in this situation. They looked to be in their early thirties and must have married young; their oldest child, a daughter, had reached her early teens. They had a calm demeanor; Bill worried mostly about his aunt and uncle, whose car had the bad fortune to be between eighteen-wheelers and accident. The older couple chose to remain, since they didn’t want to leave their car, and help of some sort had been contacted. Bill knew the roads well, and offered to lead our three-vehicle convoy in the general direction of Sarnia, Ontario.

"So we'll stop if any of us go off, the road?" I said. Teenage daughter winced. "Not that anyone's going off the road."

Bill's vision proved more acute than mine; he stopped for a half-buried car which I never would have spotted. It had an occupant, Jim, a grizzled old guy in a union jacket. He’d gone off the road and was waiting out the storm. He’d been there about two hours, he said. A passerby had offered to go for a tow truck, but hadn’t been back for awhile.

We tried to move him. Back wheels sunk through snow to dirt and the wheel spun a nice coating of mud on my right-hand side. Beyond that, we accomplished nothing. His car clearly wouldn’t be moved without mechanical aid, and not until the storm had passed. I could feel my face freezing.

"He could ride with us," I said.

Along the way, we passed another group gathered at a crossroads. We drove on. They had five vehicles, enough to form their own Donner Party.

Fortunately, conditions have improved since 1846.

Sarnia sat just on the storm’s perimeter. Lodging was easily had, and at cheaper storm rates. Jim insisted on buying us dinner, and took care of the cost before we could head him off.

This morning no new snow had fallen, but the temperature remained crispy cold, so that last night’s snow crunched underfoot.

The drive back proved uneventful.

Our holidays have started.

Call it a snowlogue.

POINT/COUNTERPOINT:
Tyler Evans
, Grade 3, Mrs. Baker's Class, Shady Grove Elementary
and
Vichizzle McNizzle, Pimp Daddy


The Meaning of Christmas

Vichizzle: Whazzup, dawgs? Here it come again, dat time of year where we all be spreadin' good wishes, Christmas cheer, tie-dins, an all dat utha bull shit. It the time when we smiles at each others with those big ol' shit eatin' grinzz, some gleamin they gold teeth an all, all because we either bout to receive a giff from ya, or gonna give a giff to ya, or bust a cap in yo motherfuckin ass. But in the spurt of the seazun, ol Vichizzle be here to reminds you all of the reason fo the season. Lot of you all think it be about celebratin' Jesus' birthday or lightin' some candles an shit, like fo that Hannakuh or Channukah or whatever the fuck you call it. Dig dis shit, dawgs: it ain't bout no fuckin candles or even about no fuckin long-haired old whitey. It's a big fuckin party, yo.

Now at this point bunch yall be sayin "But, Vichizzle, why you be all down on the Christ savior, man? Ain't you afraid of bein struck by lightning or some shit?" Now, first of all, who in the fuck ever been struck by lightnin in De-fuckin-cember? Dat's right, nobody. Cuz it's fuckin winter you dumbshits! That's the reason fo a big ol bring-the-motherfuckin-house-down parrr-TAY! Back in the olden dayz when people have no central heatin in they houses, it get pretty motherfuckin cold and after week after week of dark, gray, cold weathuh, they all be needin to get down and bust out, knowhaddi'msayin? Time to shake dat ass and smoke dat weed! Fur real. Ya gots tuh let loose and shake dem snowflakes off yo ass and get down to drinkin, smokin, fuckin, and suckin, ya dig? Everyone from the pagans befo dat Jesus dude to the Indianzz be partyin it up right round the end of December or beginnin of January. Juss like today, they all be gettin drunk of they asses and high as dat fuckin colonial Franklin dude's kite! Werd. And of course there's the food, man. Gots to feed they munchies! True dat. Dat's what started the traditions of the big ol fuckin feasts, man. The bigger the parr-tay, the bigger the munchies! So dat's why they all be breakin out the big ol hams an shit and the fuckin cranberriez and fruit cakes -- even dat fuckin shit look real appetizin after a night of smokin it up, Vichizzle attest to dat!

Tyler: This is my report on the meaning of Christmas. Lots of people think that Christmas is about giving presents and seeing family and Santa Claus. But it is not about any of that. December 25 is the date that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was born to the Virgin Mary. It was in a little barn in Bethleham because there wasn't enough room in the hotel for them. There must have been a convention in town because that happened once when we drove down to visit family in Mississippi. We couldn't get any hotel rooms at all because my daddy said some fag convention was going on. No, we didn't sleep in a barn like Jesus did, we just had to get a hotel really far away. My daddy said some really bad words about that and my mommy got mad at him for it. Anyways, when Jesus was born a big, bright star was over him to guide the Three Wisemen to him. They brought him Frankenberry, some other stuff, and something called murr. It's too bad about the Frankenberry because I always liked Count Chocula better. Anyways, Jesus was born into the world, the only son of God, to save us all from our sins. Well, the fags can't be saved, my daddy says they're all going to Hell. My preacher said Jesus could save everybody, but my daddy must be right because mommy says that daddy is smarter than our preacher.

Lots of people don't realize that the holiday is only about Jesus. My daddy says that the Jews don't celebrate it and have some other stupid thing they do and the blacks have this thing called Kwanza and they're trying to have their own black Christmas and that makes him so mad. He says they steal more than give presents at Christmas and they're going to Hell with the fags, Jews, and the aytheeists. Jesus is the reason for the season. Without him there would be no Christmas trees, Christmas songs, or yule logs. People need to worship Jesus on Christmas, not Santa Claus. I was watching this thing on the Discovery Channel the other night about Christmas and it said something about there was a holiday on December 25 before Jesus was born but my daddy got so mad he made me turn it off and he called the satelite company and made them get rid of Discovery. He said it was the last straw after all their shows about evolution.

Vichizzle: So remember, when the holly-daze be comin round, get to partying motherfuckers, cuz it one of the bess times of the year to do so. And don't be drinkin none o dat nasty egg nog shit, break out the really hard shit, get yo some Crown Royal or Colt 45 - dat shit'll git ya all warm and cozy even out in the bitterest fuckin wintah cold - and hook up with yo best dealer cuz ain't nuttin sweeter than dat holiday weed, knowhaddi'msayin? I'll bet you fuckin do! Now fuck dat Christmas shoppin bull shit, foget those stupid motherfuckers fightin over they parkin spaces and Fuck Me Elmo dolls and get started right-fuckin-nah on gettin yo holiday ass wasted! It truly be the most wonderful time of the year! Peace!

Tyler: On Christmas Day, people should get together with all the members of their family and love and cherish one another and celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus. Except if you have an older sister who is living in sin with a wop, like mine does, daddy doesn't care if she shows up. But except for that, make sure you see all your family, open your presents, eat lots of food, watch football, and, oh, don't forget to pray to Jesus. Amen. God bless everybody, except fags.


11/24/04 == 12/20/04 == 12/21/04 == 12/30/04 == 01/31/05 == 02/10/05 == 02/14/05 == 05/18/05 == 07/25/05 == 09/01/05 == 10/24/05 == 12/22/05 == 07/20/06 == 10/31/06 == 02/07/07 == 07/13/07 == 12/18/07 == 9/17/08

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.